India’s first indigenously designed and built warship Indian Naval Ship Godavari is scheduled to be decommissioned as sun sets on 23 December 2015. With her decommissioning, INS Godavari (F-20) will complete its full life cycle, meeting all responsibilities and duties assigned, proving the success of Indian ship design and construction.
INS Godavari has been replete with achievements and glory. Over the past three decades, Godavari has successfully been deployed in numerous operations, including ‘Operation Jupiter’ – 1988 (Sri Lanka), ‘Operation Shield’ and ‘Operation Bolster’ – 1994 (de-induction of Indian Army from Somalia) and ‘Patrol of Gulf of Aden’ (PoG) – 2009, 2011 (anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden). In 1988, in an operation called ‘Operation Cactus’, India successfully thwarted a coup d’état against Maldivian Government. Godavari and Betwa intercepted and arrested the mercenaries, who tried to flee Male onboard the Merchant Vessel Progress Light. The mercenaries were later handed over to Male, earning great respect and goodwill for India in the international community.
Being the first indigenously designed and constructed ship she was showcased around the world as a symbol of India’s growing military might and self-reliance. Over the past three decades, she has shown country’s flag far and wide. She has participated in numerous operations and deployments, across the expanse of the Indian Ocean and beyond.
Godavari’s keel was laid on 03 November 1978 by Adm J Cursetji, CNS, and she was launched on 15 May 1980. 10 December 1983 was truly a ‘red letter day’ for the Indian Navy, when INS Godavari was commissioned. She is the first of three Godavari Class Frigates others being Ganga and Gomati. Three Brahmaputra class frigates were follow on ships to the successful Godavari class design. At the time of decommissioning she would have served the country for little over 32 years.