PNS Ghazi: Wikis


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For the submarine named Ghazi, bought by the Pakistan Navy in 2000, see NRP Cachalote (S165)
USS Diablo in the Caribbean in 1949
Name: PNS Ghazi
Launched: 1 December 1944
Commissioned: 1 June 1964 (Pakistan Navy)
Fate: Sunk by Indian naval destroyer INS Rajput during the Indo-Pakistan War, 4 December 1971
General characteristics
Class and type: Tench-class submarine
Displacement: 1,570 long tons (1,595 t) surfaced
2,414 long tons (2,453 t) submerged
Length: 311 ft 8 in (95.00 m)
Beam: 27 ft 4 in (8.33 m)
Draft: 15 ft 3 in (4.65 m)
Propulsion: Diesel-electric
4 × Fairbanks-Morse main generator engines, 5,400 hp (4,027 kW)
2 × Elliott main motors with 2,740 hp (2,043 kW)
2 × 126-cell main storage batteries
2 × propellers
113,510 US gallon fuel capacity
Speed: 20.25 knots (37.50 km/h; 23.30 mph) surfaced
8.75 knots (16.20 km/h; 10.07 mph) submerged
Range: 11,000 nmi (20,000 km) at 10 kn (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
48 hours at 2 kn (3.7 km/h; 2.3 mph) submerged
Test depth: 400 ft (120 m)
Complement: 7 officers and 69 men
Armament: • 10 × 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes (6 forward, 4 aft), 24 torpedoes
• 1 × 5" (127 mm)/25-caliber gun
• 2 × 20 mm cannon
• 2 × .30 cal. machine guns

PNS Ghazi (SS 479) was a United States-built submarine that was leased to Pakistan in 1963. It was the first submarine to be operated by the Pakistan Navy (PN) and saw action in the 1965 and 1971 wars between India and Pakistan. The submarine could be armed with up to 28 torpedoes and, in later years, was re-fitted in Turkey for mine-laying capability. It remained the PN's flagship submarine until it sank under unknown circumstances near the eastern coast of India during the 1971 Indo-Pakistani War.[1]



Originally launched in 1944 as the Diablo, a long-range Tench-class submarine built by the Portsmouth Navy Yard. She was launched on 1 December 1944, and commissioned on 31 March 1945. In 1962, her hull classification symbol was changed to AGSS-479.

In 1963, Diablo was transferred to the Pakistan on a four-year lease under the terms of the Security Assistance Program. After an extensive overhaul and conversion to Fleet Snorkel configuration in the United States, she was commissioned into the Pakistani Navy as PNS Ghazi on 1 June 1964. She reported for duty in Karachi in September of that year.

Operational Service

This section deals with the Ghazi's service record with the Pakistan Navy. For more information about its previous service with the US Navy, see Diablo (SS-479)


1965 war

Ghazi was deployed in the Indo-Pakistani war of 1965 to attack heavy ships of the Indian Navy, and the ships aiding Operation Dwarka. Though it did not score any hits, it was a significant threat. It won 10 awards including two decorations of Sitara-e-Jurat and the President's citations.The Second in Command Lt Commander Ahmed Tasnim won a Sitara e Jurat.

After the war, the submarine was sent to Turkey for a $1.5 million refit in 1967-68. Her spares were to be provided from Turkish stocks.

1971 war

Sensing a deteriorating military scenario with the transfer of Indian aircraft carrier INS Vikrant close to East Pakistan, the Pakistan Military decided to negate the threat by deploying its flagship submarine. On 14 November, Ghazi sailed out of harbour on a reconnaissance patrol under the command of Cdr. Zafar Muhammad Khan with 92 hands on board. It was expected to report on 26 November.[2] The submarine was to sail 3,000 miles (4,828 kilometres) around the Indian peninsula from the Arabian Sea to the Bay of Bengal.

According to Indian Vice Admiral Mihir K. Roy, who was Director of Intelligence during this period, its existence was revealed when signal addressed to naval authorities in Chittagong was intercepted, requesting information on a lubrication oil only used by submarines and minesweepers.[3] Vikrant was immediately moved to the Andamans. It is assumed that Ghazi, not able to locate Vikrant decided to mine the port of Vishakapatnam - the headquarters of India's Eastern Naval Command.[4] What followed was a deadly game where both sides were on tenterhooks. Though patrols were sent to be on the lookout the submarine was not spotted. The submarine sank with all 92 hands on board under mysterious circumstances around midnight on 3 December 1971 off the Vishakapatnam coast, allowing the Indian Navy to effect a naval blockade of then East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).

Following this both the United States and the Soviet Union offered to raise the submarine to the surface at their own expense. The Government of India, however, rejected these offers and allowed the submarine to sink further into the mud off the fairway buoy of Vishakapatham, where it still lies buried under the waters.[5]

The PNS Ghazi was the first submarine to be operated by a navy in the Indian subcontinent and the first submarine casualty in those waters.


Pakistani version

According to Pakistan, the Ghazi sank when the mines it was laying were accidentally detonated. Another more plausible theory, also favored by Pakistan, is that the explosive shock from one of the depth charges set off the torpedoes and mines (some of which may have been armed for laying) stored aboard the submarine.

Indian version

India claimed that the submarine was sunk following a series of successful manoeuvres by the Indian Navy. Later some items of the ship like the log book and official Pakistani tapes, were displayed in India's Eastern Naval Command.[6] A submarine rescue vessel, INS Nishtar was sent to check the debris. India later built a "Victory Memorial" on the coast near where the Ghazi was sunk.[7]

Admiral Roy of India states in his book that there was probably no Indian ship in the vicinity at that moment Ghazi exploded: "The theories propounded earlier by some who were unaware of the ruse de guerre leading to the sinking of the first submarine in the Indian Ocean gave rise to smirks from within our own (Indian) naval service for an operation which instead merited a Bravo Zulu (flag hoist for bravery)".[3]


  1. ^ Seapower: A Guide for the Twenty-first Century By Geoffrey Till
  2. ^ Operations in the Bay of Bengal: The Loss of PNS/M Ghazi.
  3. ^ a b Mihir K. Roy (1995) War in the Indian Ocean, Spantech & Lancer. ISBN 978-1897829110
  4. ^ Nasir Khan (2000) A Forgotten Heroic Feat. Pakistan Military Consortium. Dawn. 18 December 2000
  5. ^ B. Harry (2001) The Sinking of the Ghazi." Bharat Rakshak Monitor, 4(2). Indian Military's Website
  6. ^ Trilochan Singh Trewn (July 21, 2002). "Naval museums give glimpse of maritime history". The Tribune. Retrieved May 16, 2007. 
  7. ^ "India/Andhra Pradesh/Visakhapatnam". WikiMapia. Retrieved May 16, 2007. 

External links


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