National

Know All About Navy Day, Celebrated Annually On December 4

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 1
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| December 4 , 2017 , 10:23 IST

December 4 is celebrated as Navy Day in India as this was the day when the Indian Navy played a significant role in the bombing of Karachi harbour in the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971.

The name given to the attack was Operation Trident which was launched on December 4. Owing to its success, the day of the attack has been celebrated as Navy Day ever since. Operation Trident resulted in the first use of anti-ship missiles in the region, as well as the first sinking of naval vessels during hostilities in the region since World War II.

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On 4 December, the Indian Navy launched a fast naval strike on the Pakistan Naval Headquarters (PNHQ) of Karachi. The task group for the operation consisted of three Vidyut class missile boats, INS Nipat (K86), INS Nirghat (K89) and INS Veer (K82) from the 25th "Killer" Missile Boat Squadron, escorted by two anti-submarine Arnala class corvettes, INS Kiltan (P79) and INS Katchall (P81), and a fleet tanker, INS Poshak. The task group was led by the Commanding Officer of the 25th Squadron, Commander Babru Bhan Yadav, embarked on INS Nipat.

The minesweeper PNS Muhafiz, was targeted by a Styx missile from INS Veer. The missile hit Muhafiz on the port side abaft the bridge, instantaneously disintegrating the vessel before it could send a transmission to the PNHQ. INS Nipat continuing towards Karachi, locked on to the Kemari oil storage tanks of the port from 14 nautical miles (26 km) south of the harbour. It fired two missiles at the tanks. One of the missiles misfired, while the other hit the fuel tanks, which were burnt and destroyed, causing heavy loss.

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The task force then withdrew back towards Mumbai. The operation Trident was also noted for introducing the first ship launched missiles in the region, to the war. Operation Trident was considered an enormous success for the Indian Navy with no casualties or damage to the Indian task group, which returned safely back to Indian ports. The success of this operation prompted another successful attack on Karachi on 8 December 1971, known as Operation Python.

Navy Day commemorates the daring attack by Indian Naval missile boats on Karachi harbour during Indo-Pakistan war. In recent years, Indian Navy has undergone considerable modernisation to replace ageing equipment in use. This is often seen as part of “India's drive” to become full-fledged blue water Navy. Indian Navy is organised into three regional command Headquarters Eastern Naval command, Visakhapattinam, Headquarters Western Naval Command, Mumbai, and Headquarters Southern Naval Command, Kochi.