On 23 December the Indian warship Godavari, lead ship of her class, was retired from naval service. The 4,000-ton vessel was the first frigate to be designed and constructed in India, and had been operational for more than 30 years. Built at Mazagon Dockyard in Mumbai, the Godavari was launched in May 1980 and entered service in December 1983. Based on the smaller British Leander-class frigates, the 412-foot Indian warship and her sisters were considerably larger and included a diverse mix of Russian as well as Western electronics and weapon systems. Fitted with a dual helicopter hangar, the Godavari was armed with Russian-designed SS-N-2 Styx antiship missiles, an Israeli Barak 1 surface-to-air missile system, and an Italian 3-inch main gun. Two sister ships remain in Indian service, but are expected to be retired in the near future. Once all of her useful equipment is removed, the retired Godavari is expected to be sunk as a target.
By Eric Wertheim