The recently commissioned warship INS Delhi, the largest ever indigenously built, was christened after an earlier ship of the same name which had served the Indian Navy in an illustrious manner for three decades.
The old INS Delhi was commissioned in the Indian Navy on the 5th July 1948 at Chatham, United kingdom. Earlier it used to a British Cruiser called HMS Achilles. It was handed over as HMIS Delhi by Commander-in-Chief Nore to Shri Krishna Menon, Indian High Commissioner in the United Kingdom. The ship arrived at Bombay on 15th September, 1948 and was received by Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru, Prime Minister of India.
Since then, the ship remained a roving ambassador of India and visited almost all countries of the world. On 26th January 1950 on India becoming a Republic, HMIS Delhi was re-designated INS Delhi. On 1st June. 1950, Capt. A.K.Chatterjee, the first Indian Commanding officer, took over the command of the INS Delhi. In course of her service, INS Delhi took illustrious passengers like the President Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Prime Minister Shri Jawahar lal Nehru and Smt. Indira Gandhi on some of their more important visits within the country and abroad. INS Delhi also represented India on various ceremonial occasions abroad like the naval Review to commemorate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 and the celebrations in connection with the Independence Day of Mauritius in 1968. The ship played its due role in naval Operations also, like the one at Diu in connection with the liberation of Portuguese held territories in December 1961.
After participation in many exercises along with the Indian Fleet ships and having been commanded by 26 Commanding Officers, INS Delhi was finally decommissioned on 5th July 1978.
Seafarers over the centuries have believed that the soul of a ship, like that of humans, never dies. As such, when the occasion arose to christen the newly built indigenous warship, the name INS Delhi was revived. The new INS Delhi is a modern warship, possessing a powerful punch and having the capability to sustain independent maritime operations over then high seas for prolonged periods. The ship is a tribute to India’s technological advancement in general, and warship building capability in particular.
The induction of the ship into operational service in the Indian Navy on 15.11.97 was indeed a historic occasion, which is commemorated by the issue of this postage stamp.
Date of Issue: 15.11.1998