The Indian Navy roots go back to before the 11th century. In 1877, the Bombay Marine which had a Western Division in the Arabian Sea and an Eastern Division in the Bay of Bengal was renamed Her Majesty's Indian Marine. By 1892 it had 50 vessels and was renamed Royal Indian Marine. During World War I it mainly patrolled the Arabian Sea and ferried between East Africa and the Arabian Gulf. It became the Royal Indian Navy in 1934 and by the end of World War II had 8 warships and almost 120 other combat vessels.
The prefix Royal was dropped on 26 Jan 1950 when India became a Republic. Since independence, the Indian Navy has modernised itself, looking to Europe, China and Russia. The Indian Navy is also active in UN peace keeping operations.
Rajput (ex Kashin) Class Destroyers - INS Rajput (D51), INS Rana (D52), INS Ranjit (D53), INS Ranvir (D54), INS Ranvijay (D55), operate 1 Ka-25 or Ka-28.
Delhi Class Destroyers - INS Mysore (D60), INS Delhi (D61) and INS Mumbai (D62) which operate up to 2 Sea Kings or 2 ALH.
Nilgiri (ex Leander) Class Frigates - INS Himgiri (F34), INS Udaygiri (F35), INS Dunagiri (F36), INS Taragiri (F41) and INS Vindhyagiri (F42), operate 1 Sea King Mk42.
Godavari and Brahmaputra Class Frigates - INS Godavari (F20), INS Gomati (F21), INS Ganga (F22), INS Brahmaputra (F23), INS Beas (F24) and INS Betwa (F25), operate 2 Sea King Mk42 or 1 Sea King Mk42 & 1 Chetak.
Khukri Class Corvettes - INS Kirpan (P44), INS Kuthar (P46), INS Khanjar (P47), INS Khukri (P49), and the newer INS Kora, Kirch, Kulish and Karmukh have a flight deck but don't have their own helicopters.
The Sandhayak Class Survey Ships operate 1 Chetak and the Vikram Class Offshore Patrol Vessels operate 1 Chetak or Sea King Mk42. The Ghorpad (Polnochny) Class LSM has a flight deck but doesn't have its own helicopters, whilst the Magar Class LST has a deck for 2 Sea King Mk42 but usually only operate 1.
The Indian Navy has several shore bases and the Aircraft Carrier INS Viraat (R22, ex UK HMS Hermes) can operate a mix of 7 Sea King Mk.42B/C or Ka-25.
In addition the aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya should be available by 2013 (delayed from 2009) for maritime rotary wing operations. This carrier is the ex Russian, Modified Kiev (Krechyet) Class vessel, Admiral Gorshkov. It will have extensive work, including installation of a forward ski-jump, prior to delivery.