The history of the naval might of India dates back to the Chola empire of South India who were at the height of their glory from the 10th to the 12th century AD. Today, the major role of the Navy involves conduct of active operations during war and to undertake humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions during peace. India has a coastline of 7516 Kilometres.
The Indian Navy safeguards and ensures security of the sea lanes of communication thus supports the trade that is transported by sea. They keep seas and oceans safe from pirates. Navy is effectively used to transport troops, five power & logistics to deal with situations in neighbouring countries as was done in Maldives in 1988.
Aircraft Carriers: India has one Fleet Carrier (INS Vikramaditya) and one Light Carrier (INS Viraat). An aircraft carrier is basically an airbase. In other words, it has warplanes on board that can take off and land while the ship is in water. INS Vikramaditya was bought from Russia and refitted. It can carry up to 34 Fixed Wing Aircrafts and Helicopters. The MIG 29K is the main fighter aircraft on board. With over 1,600 personnel on board, Vikramaditya is literally a 'Floating City'. Associated with this large population is a mammoth logistics requirement. The ship requires nearly a lakh of eggs, 20,000 litres of milk and 16 tonnes of rice per month to feed the crew. With her complete stock of provisions, she is capable of sustaining herself at sea for a period of about 45 days.
Attack Submarines: An attack submarine is a submarine that can sail under water and attack and sink other submarines, surface ships and merchant vessels. They could be deployed in groups or alone or assigned to protect other ships (like aircraft carriers). India has 15 attack submarines out of which 14 are conventional and one is a nuclear submarine. A nuclear submarine has a nuclear power plant. All naval vessels use diesel engines for propulsion. A nuclear submarine uses nuclear energy for propulsion.
Destroyer: A destroyer is a fast and versatile long endurance warship. They are employed to escort bigger ships (like Aircraft Carriers) and engage in anti-submarine, anti-aircraft and anti-surface warfare. India has 10 destroyers. The Israeli Barak missiles and the indigenous naval version of Brahmos missiles are deployed on destroyers. INS Kochi is a destroyer class ship.
Frigate: A Frigate is a warship that are smaller than destroyers and are employed to protect other warships and merchant marine ships. It can also be used in anti-submarine, anti-aircraft and anti-surface roles. India has 15 Frigates.
Corvette: Corvettes are swift, manoeuvrable, lightly armed warship. They are smaller than a Frigate. They are usually considered the smallest vessel to be called a proper warship. India has 22 Corvettes.
Patrol Vessel: Patrol Vessels are employed for border protection roles, including anti-smuggling and anti-piracy. They also undertake rescue operations.
Amphibious Warfare Ship: Amphibious Warfare Ships are used to deploy ground troops during an amphibious assault. India has 10 Amphibious Warfare Ships.
Minesweeper: A minesweeper is a small naval designed to clear mines in water and make the waterways safe for shipping and movement of own warships.