New Delhi: The first Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE)-built Project 17A stealth frigate “Himgiri”, which will add to the might of the Indian Navy, was launched on Monday, with Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat calling it a “historic moment”.
Gen Rawat, who was the chief guest, said that the new generation Project 17A ships with advanced stealth features, state-of-the-art weapons and sensor systems will be a major boost to Indian Navy’s mobility to undertake a variety of challenging tasks. “I am fully confident that Himgiri and other such ships of the project will conquer the seas and bring glory to our nation,” the CDS said at the launch of the ship.
“It is a historic day for the Indian Navy and for the Armed Forces as we gradually move forward to strengthening our operational preparedness,” he said.
Gen Rawat said that the mighty warship is a reincarnation of the earlier INS Himgiri, a Niligiri class frigate launched half a century ago in May 1970. “We must be proud of our ability to innovate and invent and we must continue,” the CDS said, lauding the Indian shipbuilders for transforming the Indian Navy from a buyer to a builder.
In keeping with naval traditions, Madhulika Rawat, spouse of CDS, launched the ship to the chanting of invocations from the Atharva Veda. 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.
Under the Project 17A programme, 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 skill sets to meet new challenges in building of P17A ships.
P17A ships are the first gas turbine propulsion and largest combat platforms ever built at GRSE.Since its inception, Project 17A has upheld India’s vision for Aatmanirbhar Bharat. P17A ships have been indigenously designed by Directorate of Naval Design (Surface Ship Design Group)—DND(SSG), and are being built at indigenous yards namely MDL and GRSE. Naval shipbuilding provides a great opportunity to energise our economy post Covid-19.
Project 17A ships are sourcing 80% of the material/ equipment required for the project from indigenous vendors and with employment generation for over 2000 Indian firms and MSMEs within the country. Modular construction of the ship through outsourcing, and integrated construction methodology are being used to enhance GRSE’s productivity for delivery of ship targeted in August 2023.