India’s state-owned shipbuilder, Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE) has laid the keel for the first of the three Project 17A (P17A)-class advanced stealth frigates it was contracted by the Indian Navy, on Nov. 9.
The keel laying ceremony of the ship, with a Yard No. 3022, was attended by VAdm K. B. Singh, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C) of the Navy’s Eastern Naval Command.
Project 17A-class is a new class of stealth frigates under construction for the Indian Navy as a follow-on of the Project 17 (P17) Shivalik-class frigates already operated by the Navy.
A total of seven ships is planned and four of the frigates will be be built by Mazagon Dock Ltd (MDL) in Mumbai and three by Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE) in Kolkata. The keel laying of the first P17A-class stealth frigate (Yard no: 12651) was conducted by the state-owned Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) on Dec. 28, 2017.
The P17A class frigates will have enhanced stealth features compared to Shivalik-class frigates and will also feature better roll stabilisation and a discreet visual profile. The construction times of the new ships will be reduced and productivity will improved by using modular integrated construction.
P17A ships are being built using indigenously developed steel and fitted with state-of-the-art weapon and sensor systems along with advanced Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS).
The 6,670-tonne frigates will be equipped with Barak 8 long range surface-to-air missile (LR-SAM), BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, EL/M-2248 MF-STAR multi-function active electronically scanned array (AESA) naval radar system, Ajanta electronic warfare (EW) system and Humsa-NG sonar. The weapon systems will be flush deck mounted allowing vertical launch of missiles from under the deck.
The crew complement will be reduced from the existing 257 (including 35 officers) to about 150 by using high levels of automation, which will reduce the operational costs by around 20 per cent and result in higher operational availability of the warships.