President Droupadi Murmu launched an advanced stealth frigate ‘Vindhyagiri’ at the dock on the banks of the river Hooghly in Kolkata.
This is the sixth of seven ships built under ‘Project 17 Alpha’ (P17A) for the Navy.
Why is it named Vindhyagiri?
INS Vindhyagiri is named after the mountain range in Karnataka. It is also a tribute to the distinguished service of its predecessor ‘INS Vindhyagiri’, a Leander Class ASW (anti-submarine warfare) frigate, which served the country for 31 years from July 1981 to June 2012. It had witnessed various challenging operations and multinational exercises.
Project 17A frigates
• Project 17A frigates are a follow-on class of the P17 (Shivalik Class) frigates with improved stealth features, advanced weapons and sensors and platform management systems.
• The Navy had placed orders for seven stealth frigates, four of which are being developed by Mazagon Dock Ltd (MDL) and three by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE).
• P17A ships have been designed in-house by Navy’s Warship Design Bureau. Around 75 per cent of the orders for equipment and system of P17A ships are being placed on indigenous firms.
• The first ship of Project 17A, ‘Nilgiri’ built by MDL, was launched on September 28, 2019.
• ‘Himgiri’, the first of the three Project 17A ships being built at Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE), Kolkata was on December 14, 2020.
• The third ship ‘Udaygiri’ under the project was launched on May 17 this year. It is expected to start sea trials during the second half of 2024.
• ‘Dunagiri’, the fourth ship of P17A frigates, was launched in July this year. It was named after a mountain range in Uttarakhand.
• Taragiri, named after a hill range in the Himalayas located at Garhwal, is the fifth ship of Project 17A frigates.
• Vindhyagiri is the third and last stealth frigate that the Kolkata-based warship maker was contracted to build for the Navy under the project.
• The state-of-the-art ship will be fitted with the latest gadgets and undergo extensive trials before being handed over to the Indian Navy for commissioning into service.
• P17A ships are guided missile frigates, each of which is 149 metres long, with the displacement of approximately 6,670 tonnes and a speed of 28 knots.
• These are capable of neutralising threats in all three dimensions of air, surface and sub-surface.
• The Navy has planned to name the seventh ship in the P17A frigate series as ‘Mahendragiri’.