There are very few post WW II military leaders globally who did command as much interest and professional respect as Admiral Sergei Gorshkov, after all Time magazine put his face on the cover in its 1968 Man of the Year issue for a reason.
Gorshkov laid down the foundation for the modern naval combat already in 1960s and 1970s when recognized the immense power of new weapon system known as anti-shipping cruise missile. He was primarily a proponent of Sea Denial which, obversely, meant the loss of Sea Control by the mighty US Navy. Soviet Navy, through Gorshkov, was betting on missises which would destroy the backbone of the US Navy--US aircraft carriers. Indian Navy applied those views fully to its own operations.
So why did the Indian Embassy in Moscow host the celebration of what would have been Gorshkov’s 110th birthday recently? Because the legendary admiral who built the Soviet Navy into a Cold War powerhouse also transformed the Indian Navy into a modern sea power to be reckoned with. “Gorshkov built the Soviet navy... and it was because of his efforts and skill, that the Soviet Union became a global power,” India’s ambassador to Russia Bala Venkatesh Varma told RT, adding that the Indo-Russian naval relationship is a rare and “unique example where something that started in the last century, 55 years ago, is still continuing today.” This special relationship can be directly traced to Gorshkov, who laid the foundation for the ever-evolving modern military relationship between New Delhi and Moscow.
Early 1980s one could see Indian naval officers and NCOs and their wives around the campus of my Alma Mater--the commanding core of Chakra K-43 (Soviet Charlie-class, project 670 SSGN) were being trained for service at this nuclear sub in Indian Navy. The crews were also rotated through other naval academies and Soviet training facilities for submariners. So, the words of the Indian Ambassador are not just run-of-the-mill pleasantries. Today, India continues to be a recipient of Russian naval (and other military) technology, most important manifestation of which being a deployment of Russian-build Pr. 11356 Talwar-class frigates armed with Russian-Indian Brahmos anti-shipping and land-attack missiles and expecting to be armed with hyper-sonic version of Brahmos by late 2020s. In general, it is a good piece and a very warm one towards the memory of famous Soviet Admiral who, in the end, did change naval combat as we know it.
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