By 2025 Indian Navy Will Double Its Frigate Strength
The contract for construction of three Stealth Frigates under Project 17A is the largest ever order awarded to this Kolkata shipyard by the Ministry of Defence. The order is valued for over Rs.19293 crores. The shipyard despite all challenges amid COVID – 19 pandemic, launched 1st ship of P17A Stealth Frigate “INS Himgiri” ahead of schedule on 14 Dec 20. The Keel laying of Yard 3024 has also been achieved ahead of schedule. It is important to note that the Keels for both 1st & 2nd ships viz Yard 3022 and Yard 3023 were also laid ahead of schedule on 10 Nov 18 and 24 Jan 20 respectively.
P17A ships shall be the most advanced state-of-the-art Guided Missile Frigates, 149 m long, with a displacement of approximately 6670 T and advanced CODOG Propulsion enabling speed of over 28 knots. These complex platforms are equipped with a powerful weapon & sensor package capable of neutralising threats in all three dimensions of 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. An advanced PDM-PLM system is being implemented at GRSE to manage the project over its life cycle.
MoD has placed orders for 7 such frigates, four of which are being built by Mazgaon Docks simultaneously. So by 2025 Navy should be getting all the 7 frigates along with 4 other frigate, two of each being built in Russia and Goa Shipyards. The Navy is presently operating 13 frigates. Ideally we need a minimum of 32 frigates plus 3 to 4 cadet training frigates. A similar repeat order by 2023, incorporating new design for around 12 frigates will take care of all the needs.
Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE) has surely achieved a major milestone with ‘laying of the Keel’ of Yard 3024 a ship of the Advanced Stealth Frigate Project, P17A. As per GRSE tradition, the Keel was laid by a senior operative Shri Mithailal Pasi, Structural Fitter of Shipbuilding Shop at the Main Works Unit of GRSE.
The important milestones of ship building involve the process of Cutting of steel which is called the ‘Start Production’ stage followed by ‘Keel laying’ subsequent to which, the other blocks are built around the keel block. The next phase is launching, when the Ship is placed in water for the first time, Subsequently, the ship is outfitted with equipment and systems post launch, followed by trials of equipment. On completion of all trials and once the compartments are ready, the ship is delivered to customer.
Since its takeover by the Government of India in 1960, GRSE has delivered high end warships ranging from Fast Patrol Vessels, Survey Vessels, Landing Ship Tanks, Landing Craft Utility, Fleet Tanker to Frigates and Missile/ASW Corvettes. The shipyard has made a significant advancement towards self-reliance in state-of-the-art warship design and construction and furthered ‘Atmanirbhar’ abhiyaan by achieving over 90% indigenous content onboard ASW Corvettes and Landing Craft Utility ships. Having modernised its infrastructure facilities, today GRSE is in a position to construct 20 warships concurrently using Advanced Modular Integrated Shipbuilding Technology in line with the best in the world.
GRSE’s Design Unit has been recognized by Dept. of Scientific & Industrial Research (DSIR). The complete designs of LCUs, Water Jet FACs, Survey Vessel (Large) and ASW – SWCs have been developed by the 100+ member Strong Design Team. The 3D Virtual Reality Lab at GRSE aids in identification of Design/ Construction issues at early Design Stage. GRSE has proven design capabilities to integrate systems onboard its platforms to meet specific needs of its customers.
GRSE is currently executing two more major projects of Indian Navy pertaining to construction of 04 Survey Vessel Large ships and 08 ASWSWC ships apart from the 03 P17A ships. The Shipyard also received an Export Order from Govt of Guyana for Design, Construction and Delivery of 01 Ocean Going Passenger cum Cargo Ferry Vessel and delivered FPV “SGPS Zoroaster” to Govt. of Seychelles. With proven export credentials backed by a healthy order book, the shipyard is well on its way to realise its vision of being a global leader in shipbuilding!
Shares of Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd was last trading in BSE at Rs 203 as compared to the previous close of Rs 208.1. The total number of shares traded during the day was 14718 in over 389 trades.
A similar action must be taken by the MoD for building up the Submarine strength. 3 more Scorpenes fitted with AIP can be made at Mazgaon and 3 at L& T shipyard.
A second line at Mazgaon should come up for starting the manufacture of 9x indigenous submarine.in a few years. Meanwhile the Russian company bidding for Reliance Naval should be given orders for manufacturing six submarines at Pipavav.