India manages one of the largest militaries in the world and a critical component of this fighting force is its Navy service. Within its inventory lies at least one aircraft carrier, numerous frigates and destroyers and over a dozen attack submarines. The service is well-balanced for its geopolitical location, capable of countering most any threat posed by a regional ally. Among its ranks of fighting frigates is the Talwar-class, a group of stealth-promoting, missile-minded frigates of modern design with lead ship INS Talwar (F40) introduced in 2003. Her sister, INS Tarkash (F50), was ordered on July 14th, 2007 and built at the Yantar Shipyard. She was launched on June 23rd, 2010 and formally commissioned on November 9th, 2012 - remaining in active service as of this writing (2017).
The warship displaces 3,680 tons under standard load and up to 4,100 tons under full load. She holds an overall length of 409.4 feet with a beam measuring 49.9 feet and a draught down to 14.8 feet. Power is from COGAG (COmbined Gas And Gas) arrangement featuring 2 x DS-71 marine turbines developing 9,000 horsepower for cruising duties and 2 x DT-59 marine turbines developing 19,500 horsepower for dashing duties. These power a twin shaft arrangement under stern. Max speeds reach 30 knots in ideal conditions and range is out to 4,850 nautical miles.
Crew and Weaponry
Aboard is a crew of 180 including eighteen officer-level personnel. The warship is outfitted with a bank of 24 x medium-ranged Air-to-Air Missiles (AAMs) (Shtil-1 series) and 8 x Igla-1E (SA-16) short-ranged AAMs. The vessel also carries 8 x Klub anti-ship cruise missiles and can attack land targets as well. More traditional projectile armament is had in the 1 x 100mm A-190E turreted deck gun over the forecastle and 2 x Kashtan Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWSs) are carried, the latter more for point defense. For anti-submarine sorties, INS Tarkash can rely on its 2 x 533mm double torpedo tube launchers and the RBU-6000 Anti-Submarine ROCket (ASROC) launcher fit.
All this allows INS Tarkash to counter inbound threats from the air, on the sea or under it. It can be used to support fleet actions or operate independently of it, making for an effective hunter-killer platform.
INS Tarkash makes use of proven stealth features about its design. This includes a slab-sided appearance and unbroken deck line, the latter running from bow to stern. The bridge superstructure is of a low profile design, as is the smoke funnels aft of it, and major obstructions are kept to a minimum. The deck gun is set well-forward for excellent clearance of the ship when firing and the helipad at rear is offers inbound helicopters a clear approach.
A helipad with full-service hangar is seated over the stern and supports a single Kamov Ka-28 or Ka-31 "Helix" navalized helicopter or similar. The indigenous HAL Dhruv can also be operated from this position.
Service Record to Date
Having entered service in 2012, INS Tarkash is a relatively new and all-modern addition to the ranks of the Indian Navy. During march of 2015 she was called to her first notable action when the warship was used to ferry Indian nationals out of Yemen as it descended into civil war.