Kolkata: Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE) touched a key milestone in its Project 17A, with the laying of the keel of its second of three Advanced Stealth Frigates. The keel was laid at GRSE’s Main Works Unit by D Santra, Structural Fitter (Sk-II) of Shipbuilding Shop, in the presence of Vice Admiral G Ashok Kumar, AVSM, VSM, Vice Chief of Naval Staff.
The occasion was graced by Rear Admiral VK Saxena, IN (Retd.), Chairman & Managing Director, GRSE, SS Dogra, Director (Finance), Cmde Sanjeev Nayyar, IN (Retd), Director (Shipbuilding) and Cmde PR Hari, Director (Personnel) and other senior officers of the Indian Navy led by Rear Admiral GK Harish, VSM, Director General (Naval Design) and GRSE, an official release said.
Advanced Stealth Frigates project costs Rs 19,294 cr
The prestigious contract of Rs 19,294 crore for construction of three highly Advanced Stealth Frigates under Project 17A is the largest ever order won by GRSE. This contract was signed between the Ministry of Defence and GRSE on February 20, 2015. The first ship is expected to be delivered in 2023 and the next two ships in 2024 and 2025, respectively. Friday’s keel-laying marked another project milestone being achieved ahead of schedule by GRSE.
P17A frigates are state-of-the-art Guided Missile Frigates. Each of these ships are 149-metre-long, with a displacement of approximately 6670 T and a speed of 28 knots. P17A Stealth Frigates are being built with the latest Integrated Construction Methodology with enhances pre-outfitting to enhance quality and reduce build periods considerably, the release said. GRSE has appointed M/s Fincantieri, Italy, as the Knowhow Provider for Technology Upgrade and Capability Enhancement. In his welcome address, Saxena, GRSE CMD, acknowledged the Indian Navy’s confidence in GRSE for awarding this prestigious project. He also said, “New initiatives are being undertaken in shipbuilding at GRSE to gear up to meet future challenges and deliver quality ships on time.” The Chairman said that the shipyard has the capacity to build 20 ships currently and it is set to enhance it to 24 warships over the next few years.
'Quality ships are expected on time'
The Vice Chief of Naval Staff (VCNS), in his address, said, “GRSE can be proud of its achievements as it continues to build complex ships under stringent timelines.” The VCNS also said that the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard are on a growth path which bodes well for the shipyard’s future, wherein quality ships are expected on time.
GRSE currently has a strong order book position of around Rs 27,400 crore, under which there are a total of 19 warships being built under six projects. The PSU has delivered five warships to the Indian Navy in the last 10 months (Mar 19 –Dec 19). The shipyard has been recently awarded with the ICC PSE Excellence Award (2017-18) for “Operational Performance Excellence” and the 16th National Award for “Excellence in Cost Management” in the category of Medium Public Sector Manufacturing Companies. GRSE is aggressively bidding for the new Request for Proposals (RFP) that have been issued by the Ministry of Defence. The company is also showcasing its shipbuilding capabilities at DEFEXPO 2020 in Lucknow.