13 June 2005

Pride of India docks in Cape Town

A display of Indian naval power is open to the public at Cape Town's Victoria and Alfred Waterfront.

Visitors will be allowed to board the INS Delhi and INS Ganga from 11am to 3.30pm on Friday and Saturday and will be afforded the rare opportunity to see a virtually new destroyer and a guided missile frigate in the flesh.

The ships arrived in Table Bay Harbour early on Thursday on an official four-day visit, after which they will set sail to take part in exercises with the South African Navy.

The guided missile frigate INS Trishul and the replenishment ship Aditya also arrived in Durban earlier this week for a visit.

Commissioned in 1997, the INS Delhi was the first of three conventional destroyers designed and built in India. A destroyer, one of the most powerful naval vessels at sea today, is surpassed in armament and size only by the cruiser and is the backbone of modern navies.

They bristle with weaponry and sensors that allow them to fight against aircraft, other ships or submarines in a combination of roles.

INS Delhi boasts a 500m2 helicopter deck and twin hangars where two British-made Sea King helicopters are kept at the ready for anti-submarine duty. They also launch missiles.

The ship cost $980-million to build, "about the same as what we paid for our four new corvettes", said Helmoed Romer-Heitman of Jane's Defence Weekly.

Source: www.iol.co.za


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