INS Nigiri was the lead ship of the Nilgiri-class of frigates of the Indian Navy during the Cold War period (1947-1991) and these were significant in becoming the first major surface combatants to be built in-India-by-India when introduced in 1972. From this experience spawned the Godvari-class frigate of 1983 which were more-or-less modified Nigiri-class warships. Again the type was evolved and a new initiative produced the Brahmaputra-class first appearing in the early-2000s. INS Brahmaputra (F31) became its lead ship and was soon joined by sisters INS Betwa (F39) and INS Beas (F37), commissioned in July of 2004 and 2005 respectively.
INS Brahmaputra (F31) herself was commissioned on April 14th, 2000. Nicknamed "The Raging Rhino", she currently maintains an active status in the Indian Navy fleet. The Indian Navy relies on fourteen total frigates that includes the Shivalik-class, the Talwar-class and the Godvari-class (December 2017).
As built, INS Brahmaputra displaces 3,850 tons and has a bow-to-stern length of 414.7 feet, a beam of 47.6 feet and a draught of 15 feet. Propulsion is by way of 2 x Steam turbines developing 30,000 horsepower to 2 x shafts under stern. Maximum speed in ideal conditions reaches 30 knots and range is out to 4,500 nautical miles. Aboard is a crew of up to 450 officers and enlisted personnel as well as a modest air crew to service the helicopter arm.
The Brahmaputra carries a BEL RAWS-03 air-/surface-search radar system and a BEL / Signaal RAWL-02 air-search radar. Navigation is aided by the Decca "Bridgemaster"/ BEL "Rashmi" PIN 524 series radar fit. A BEL HUMSA hull-mounted and Thales "Sintra' towed sonar array are also at the crew's disposal. The Electronic Warfare (EW) suite is headed by the BEL Ajanta Mk 2C fit and the ELLORA support measures unit. A pair of chaff/flare launchers are also noted. 2 x Graesby G783 (or BEL TOTED) systems serve in the towed torpedo decoy role.
Armament is a mix of conventional and missile-minded weaponry. Over the forecastle is a single 76mm OTO-Melara turreted deck gun. 4 x KT-184 series launchers have 16 x Kh-35 Surface-to-Surface Missiles (SSMs) between them. Three octuple Vertical Launch Systems (VLSs) are fitted for the 24 x Barak Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAMs) carried. 4 x 30mm AK-630 Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWSs) protect against inbound, short-ranged aerial threats. 2 x RBU-6000 systems act as Anti-Submarine ROCket (ASROC) units and the warship rounds out its armament suite with 2 x Triple torpedo tubes.
The ship's profile makes use of some stealth features such as the slab-sided hull structure that contours some into the main superstructure. Part of her armament suite is seated at the forecastle as well as across the superstructure proper. The bridge is placed in its usual location overlooking the bow and the main mast is aft of the bridge section, ahead of the low-profile smoke funnels located amidships. Aft of this is the secondary mast which leads the hangar superstructure tied to the stern-based helipad. The helipad can service a single medium-lift navy helicopter, the Westland "Sea King" (detailed on this site) typically being featured.
As a relatively recent addition to the inventory of the Indian Navy, Brahmaputra is an all-modern surface combatant with active search, tracking and engagement systems. To date, the vessel has been used in local and inter-national exercises at home and abroad as well as in humanitarian relief/rescue operations (such as Operation Sukoon as part of the 2006 Lebanon War). In July of 2009, she took part in Task Force Europe with the British Royal Navy and the French Navy in British and French waters.
On paper, the Brahmaputra-class frigates have been superseded by the more advanced Talwar-class detailed elsewhere on this site.
Ship Class [ Brahmaputra-class ] Ships-in-Class [ 3 ]Ship Names:INS Brahmaputra (F31); INS Betwa (F39); INS Beas (F37)
- Blue Water Operations
- Fleet Support
414.7 ft (126.40 m)
Width / Beam:
47.6 ft (14.51 m)
Height / Draught:
15 ft (4.57 m)
2 x BHEL Bhopal steam turbines developing 30,000 horsepower to 2 x Shafts astern.
30 kts (35 mph)
4,519 nm (5,200 miles; 8,369 km)
1 x 76mm OTO-Melara turreted deck gun.
4 x KT-184 launchers for 16 x Kh-35 (SS-N-25) Surface-to-Surface Missiles (SSMs).
3 x 8-cell Vertical Launch Systems (VLSs) for 24 x Barak Surface-t-Air Missiles (SAMs).
4 x 30mm AK-630 Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWSs).
2 x RBU-6000 Anti-Submarine ROCket (ASROC) launchers.
2 x 324mm triple torpedo tubes.
1 x Medium-lift navalized helicopter (typically Westland Sea King or similar class).
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