Project 17A stealth frigate Himagiri made her first contact with the waters of Hoogly River at 1335 Hrs at the launch ceremony
The construction of the Project 17A ships is being done in 2 locations, MDL and GRSE concurrently
Kolkata: Defence PSU and India's leading shipbuilder accomplished a key milestone in the prestigious Project 17A on Monday, with the launch of the first of three Stealth Frigates, 'Himgiri'. Upholding the best of maritime traditions, the ship was launched by Mrs Madhulika Rawat, spouse of CDS Gen Bipin Rawat, to the chanting of invocations from the Atharva Veda. CDS graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. Rear Admiral VK Saxena, IN (Retd), Chairman and Managing Director, GRSE, Vice Admiral AK Jain, Commander-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command, Lt Gen Anil Chouhan, Army Commander, Eastern Command and other Senior Officials of GRSE, and Indian Navy and a host of other dignitaries were present at the occasion. The ship has taken its name and crest of the second Frigate of the Leander Class of ships, which incidentally was launched 50 years ago in 1970.
P17A Stealth Frigates being built at GRSE & MDL
Under the Project 17A program, a total of seven ships, four at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) and three ships at GRSE are being built with enhanced stealth features, advanced indigenous weapon and sensor fit along with several other improvements. The launch of ‘Himgiri’ has showcased GRSE’s commitment towards the building of three state-of-the-art warships of P17A for Indian Navy. Over the years, GRSE has emerged as a leading shipyard having built over 100 ships. The yard has scaled up its infrastructure and skillsets to meet new challenges in the building of P17A ships. P17A ships are the first gas turbine propulsion and largest combat platforms ever built at GRSE.
The Launch symbolises the birth of the ship as she makes her first contact with water and is floated out. The ceremony was conducted in true maritime traditions with the application of vermillion, breaking of coconut on the ship’s bow and chanting of Vedic mantras. The contract for construction of three Stealth Frigates under Project 17A is the largest ever order awarded to the shipyard by the Ministry of Defence with a value of over Rs 19293 crores.
State-of-the-art stealth ships P17A
P17A ships will be the most advanced state-of-the-art Guided Missile Frigates, 149 m long, with a displacement of approximately 6670 T and having an advanced CODOG Propulsion system enabling speed of over 28 knots. These complex weapon platforms are equipped with a powerful weapon & sensor package capable of neutralising threats in all three dimensions, Air, Surface & Sub-surface. P17A Stealth Frigates are being built using Integrated Construction Methodology with enhanced pre-outfitting to enhance quality and reduce build periods. M/s Fincantieri, Italy is the Knowhow Provider for Technology Upgrade and Capability Enhancement in this project. Project 17A also is unique wherein, based on the basic design prepared by the Directorate of Naval Design; the construction is being done in 2 locations, MDL and GRSE concurrently. An intelligent PDM PLM system is being developed to manage the project and aid in its life cycle management.
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CMD Rear Admiral VK Saxena speaking at the launch brought out the fact that launching of the ship is being done 2 months ahead of schedule. Achievement of this major milestone, despite the challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic situation stands testimony to the commitment and capability of the shipyard. He also stated that GRSE has delivered 105 warships so far to our Maritime Forces, epitomizing the 'AtmaNirbhar Bharat' efforts in letter and spirit.
General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff during his speech on this momentous occasion appreciated GRSE’s service to the nation having acquired vast knowledge and expertise in design and production of complex battle-ready warships and for having delivered 105 warships. General Rawat expressed his hope that the final delivery of this ship and the two subsequent ships of this project, shall remain etched as historic events, towards the country’s relentless efforts in achieving self-reliance. The General also congratulated the shipyard and Indian Navy for achieving this major milestone despite the adverse effects of the Covid pandemic.
GRSE: Consolidating Shipbuilding in India
Since the takeover by the Government of India in 1960, GRSE has delivered a plethora of high-end warships ranging from Fast Patrol Vessels, Survey Vessels, LSTs, LCUs, Fleet Tanker, frigates and Missile & ASW Corvettes. The shipyard also has the distinction of achieving over 90% indigenous content, onboard ASW Corvettes and LCUs, a significant advancement towards self-reliance in state-of-the-art warship design and construction. Having modernised its infrastructure facilities, GRSE is today in a position to construct a large number of warships using Advanced Modular Integrated Shipbuilding Technology in line with the best in the world. This has helped enhance its capacity to the present level of constructing 20warships concurrently.
GRSE is currently executing two more major projects of Indian Navy pertaining to the construction of 04 Survey Vessel Large ships and 08 ASWSWC ships. Further, the shipyard has a healthy order book of Rs.26189 Crore for construction of 15 warships of the Navy to be completed progressively by the year 2027.
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