Raksha Mantri Launches Yard 12651 (NILGIRI) at Mumbai
The first Stealth Frigate under the Project 17-A, was launched at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited, Mumbai. The Hon’ble Raksha Mantri, Shri Rajnath Singh was the Chief Guest for the event. With a launch weight of 2738 Tonnes, the completed warship will be 149 meters in length, 17.8 meters wide and have a tonnage of 6670 tonnes. In keeping with maritime traditions, Smt Savitri Singh, spouse of the Hon’ble Raksha Mantri, broke a coconut on the ship’s bow and launched the ship to the rendition of an invocation from the Atharva Veda.
The Project 17-A is the follow-up of the Project 17 which comprise the three Shivalik Class of Stealth Frigates. The ships being built under Project 17-A will incorporate advanced design features and fittings to improve stealth such as radar suppression screens and radar transparent deck fittings. They will also be equipped with state of the art sensors, weapons and have high levels of automation. The ships will be propelled by two Diesel and two Gas Turbine powerplants in a CODAG configuration and will be able to achieve sustained speeds in excess of 28 Knots.
The ships will be named after the erstwhile Leander Class Frigates, which were also the first indigenously constructed warships and served the Indian Navy with distinction. The launch of the first warship, christened “Nilgiri”, marks a significant milestone in the indigenous warship design and construction programme, making India one of the few countries in the world with capability to design, build and integrate systems for advanced stealth warships. A total of seven warships will be built under Project 17-A, out of which four will be constructed at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Guest brought out that India prides herself as one of the few countries in the world to have acquired capability for design and construction of ‘State-of-the-Art’ warships and submarines. While congratulating all agencies associated with the milestone, he appreciated the close partnership of Indian Navy and MDL and the support of other organisations like DRDO, OFB, BEL and the private defence industry, which is a testament to the Government’s “Make in India” policy.