Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE), Kolkata, accomplished a key milestone in the prestigious Project 17A, with the launch of the first of three Stealth Frigates, "Himgiri". The ship was "Launched" by Madhulika Rawat, wife of General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff who graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. Rear Admiral VK Saxena (Retd.), Chairman and Managing Director, GRSE, Vice Admiral AK Jain, Commander-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command, Lt. General Anil Chouhan, Army Commander, Eastern Command and other Senior Officials of GRSE, and Indian Navy with other dignitaries were present at the occasion.
The Launch symbolises the birth of the ship as she makes her first contact with water and is floated out. The ceremony was conducted in true maritime traditions with the application of vermillion, breaking of coconut on the ship's bow and chanting of Vedic mantras.
P17A ships will be the most advanced state-of-the-art Guided Missile Frigates, 149 m long, with a displacement of approximately 6670 T and having an advanced CODOG Propulsion system enabling speed of over 28 knots. These complex weapon platforms are equipped with a powerful weapon & sensor package capable of neutralising threats in all three dimesions, Air, Surface & Sub-surface. P17A Stealth Frigates are being built using Integrated Construction Methodology with enhanced pre-outfitting to enhance quality and reduce build periods. Fincantieri of Italy is the Knowhow Provider for Technology Upgrade and Capability Enhancement in this project. Project 17A also is unique wherein, based on the basic design prepared by the Directorate of Naval Design, the construction is being done in 2 locations, MDL and GRSE concurrently. An intelligent PDM PLM system is being developed to manage the project and aid in its life cycle management.
The contract for construction of three Stealth Frigates under Project 17A is the largest ever order awarded to the shipyard by the Ministry of Defence with a value of over 19,293 crores. Speaking on the occasion, Rear Admiral VK Saxena (Retd.) brought out the fact that launching of the ship is being done 2 months ahead of schedule. Achievement of this major milestone, despite the challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic situation stands testimony to the commitment and capability of the shipyard. He also stated that GRSE has delivered 105 warships so far to our Maritime Forces, epitomising the "Atma Nirbhar Bharat" efforts in letter and spirit.
General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff during his speech on this momentous occasion appreciated GRSE's service to the nation having acquired vast knowledge and expertise in design and production of complex battle ready warships and for having delivered 105 warships. General Rawat expressed his hope that the final delivery of this ship and the two subsequent ships of this project, shall remain etched as historic events, towards the country's relentless efforts in achieving self-reliance. The General also congratulated the shipyard and Indian Navy for achieving this major milestone despite the adverse effects of the Covid pandemic.
GRSE is currently executing two more major projects of Indian Navy pertaining to construction of 4 Survey Vessel Large ships and 8 ASW SWC ships. Further, the shipyard has a healthy order book of 26,189 crore for construction of 15 warships of the Navy to be completed progressively by year 2027.