Destroyer warships make up a considerable portion of the modern Indian Navy surface fleet. The service fields three similar types in the Kolkata-class, the Delhi-class and older Rajput-class. The Rajput-class is led by INS Rajput (D51) and she is joined by INS Rana (D52), INS Ranjit (D53), INS Ranvir (D54) and INS Ranvijay (D55). The design of this warship class is based in the Soviet Navy's Kashin-class destroyer form of the Cold War period (1947-1991) and includes modifications made to suit Indian Navy requirements of the 1980s. The ships were constructed in Soviet (now Ukraine) shipyards (the No. 61 Kommunara Shipbuilding Plant).
Commissioned on September 30th, 1980, INS Rajput (D51) continues to serve the Indian Navy today (December 2017) in its designated guided-missile destroyer role. It forms part of the Indian Navy's Eastern Naval Command surface force and can supply the service with an airspace denial capability as well as hunt enemy submarines and surface combatants or attack land-based targets inland through cruise missile and gun strikes. The vessel is also well-defended from close-attack by way of guns and an Electronic Warfare (EW) / CounterMeasures (CM) fit as well as modern sensors and radar.
Compared to the original Soviet Kashin-class, the Rajput-class did away with the gun mounting found at the "Y" position (aft) and this was replaced by a helicopter hangar and helipad. The warship also lost its "Owl Screech" fire control director at its aft mounting and SS-N-2D (Mod 2) "Styx" missile launchers were added forward of the bridge section. The Indian version of the ship retained the Kashin's Anti-Aircraft (AA) and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) capabilities and was the first to introduce the locally-designed and developed "BrahMos" cruise missile for land attacks from the sea - indeed INS Rajput was a considerable part of the missiles development as it served in the missile's trials phase.
As built, INS Rajput displaces 4,000 ton under standard load and 5,000 tons under full load with a length of 482 feet, a beam of 52 feet and a draught of 16 feet. Installed power is made up of 4 x M-3E3 gas turbine engines of 18,000 horsepower each (72,000 hp overall) driving 2 x Shafts under stern. Top speed reaches 35 knots in ideal conditions and range is out to about 4,000 miles. Aboard is a crew of approximately 320 officers and enlisted personnel.
The warship is outfitted with various radar systems and sensors as well as hull-mounted and towed-sonar arrays. Armament is led by the 4 x Brahmos cruise missile fit in noticeably angled launchers at either side of the forecastle with 2 x Styx AShM missiles intended for the AA role. More conventional weaponry includes the 76mm turreted deck gun (leading the armament suite at the extreme head of the forecastle), 4 x 30mm AK-230 Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWSs) for short-range airspace denial / protection and 1 x 533mm quintuple torpedo launcher. There are also 2 x RBU-6000 Anti-Submarine ROCket (ASROC) launchers. The vessel supports a single Kamov-28 (or similar) navalized helicopter equipped for the anti-submarine / anti-ship role.
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May 2021 - INS Rajput was formally decommissioned on May 21st, 2021 by the Indian Navy.
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