GRSE to Launch Indian Navy Project 17A Stealth Frigate This Month

Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE) will launch the first of the three Indian Navy Project 17A Nilgiri-class stealth frigates it was contracted to build, this month.

The state-owned shipbuilder made the announcement on Indian Navy Day (Dec. 4) and the launch ceremony will be held at GRSE facility in Kolkata on Dec. 14. GRSE laid the keel for the vessel, (Yard No. 3022) on Nov. 9, 2018.

Project 17A (P17A)-class, also called Nilgiri-class after the lead ship, is a new class of stealth frigates under construction for the Indian Navy as a follow-on of the currently operational Project 17 (P17) Shivalik-class frigates.

A total of seven ships is planned and four of the frigates are being built by state-owned Mazagon Dock Ltd. (MDL) in Mumbai and three by GRSE in Kolkata.

The first ship of the class is named INS Nilgiri after the lead ship of the now-decommissioned Nilgiri-class of frigates. The older six-ship Nilgiri-class vessels are updated versions of British Leander class frigates. The second to sixth vessels of the new class are to be named INS Himgiri, INS Udaygiri, INS Dunagiri, INS Taragiri, and INS Vindhyagiri after the older Nilgiri-class vessels and the seventh ship will be named INS Mahendragiri.

The keel laying of INS Nilgiri (Yard no: 12651) was conducted at MDL on Dec. 28, 2017. The vessel was launched on Sept. 28, 2019.

The P17A class frigates will have enhanced stealth features compared to Shivalik-class frigates and will also feature better roll stabilization 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.

Each P17A frigate will be powered by two GE LM2500 marine gas turbines and two diesel engines in a combined diesel or gas (CODOG) turbine configuration. The Industrial and Marine Gas Turbine division of the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is assembling the LM2500 gas turbines in India under license from GE.

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.

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