Navy gets new stealth frigate, second India-built submarine
30 September 2019
The Indian Navy on Saturday received its first India-made stealth frigate with defence minister Rajnath Singh launching the `INS Nilgiri’, one of seven such ships being built at the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited in Mumbai.
INS ‘Nilgiri’ is equipped with the best platforms, weapons and sensors to deal with any conventional and unconventional threats to India’s maritime interests, defence minister Rajnath Singh said at the cpmmisioning ceremony in Mumbai on Saturday.
INS Nilgiri is the first ship of Project17A. Project 17A frigates is a design derivative of the Shivalik class stealth frigates with much more advanced stealth features and indigenous weapons and sensors. These frigates are being built using integrated construction methodology. The P17A frigates incorporate new design concepts for improved survivability, sea keeping, stealth and ship manoeuvrability.
The defence ninister also commissioned the largest dry dock of Indian Navy - The Aircraft Carrier Dock at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai. He termed it as an “edifice of modern India”.
Rajnath Singh also presided over the commissioning ceremony of indigenously built submarine INS Khanderi in Mumbai on Saturday.
INS Khanderi is the second of Kalvari Class diesel electric attack submarines of the Indian Navy. It has been built in India to the French Scorpene design and is the second submarine of the Project-75. Built indigenously by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited, INS Khanderi is a lethal addition to Navy’s conventional submarine arsenal and is designed for silent and stealthy sub-surface operations.
INS Khanderi is the follow-on to INS Kalvari, which was the first of the French origin Scorpene class submarines being indigenously constructed in India and commissioned by the prime minister in 2017.
First put out to sea in 2017, INS Khanderi has undergone comprehensive sea trials, torpedo and missile firings to validate her fighting capability. She was handed over to the Indian Navy on completion of trials on 19 September 2019. At 67.5 meters long and 12.3 meters high, Khanderi embodies cutting edge technologies that ensure stealthy, silent operations underwater and is equipped with an array of torpedoes, missiles and sensors that enable her to detect, identify and destroy enemy targets.
The first submarine was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 6 December 1968 and was decommissioned on 18 October 1989 after 20 years of service to the nation.
Rajnath Singh said due impetus has been given for timely acquisition of state-of-the-art weapons, sensors and platforms, adding that the government has given more freedom and support to armed forces to take decisions in the nation’s interest. “We are committed to far-reaching changes in our defence preparedness”, he said.
“You cannot buy a confident Navy. A confident Navy is always built by a confident Government”, Raksha Mantri said, adding that the Indian Navy has the confidence which no other country in the Indian Ocean possesses.
Rajnath Singh urged not just the security forces, but every citizen of the country to stay alert and united to meet any future challenges. “We have to be on the guard against state and non-state actors from across the border”, he said.
Underlining the importance of Oceans in development trajectory of a nation, the defence minister said, oceans are gateway of opportunities as well as grave threats if the maritime forces are not alert. He said, the Indian Navy should be the last men standing in the Indian Ocean Region. “We need to safeguard the sea lanes of Indian Ocean to maintain and promote peace & trade in the region. We care about the Indian Ocean & we will take strong action if anyone tries to disturb the peace”, he added.