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Monday 16 May 2022

Two India-made warships enter the water today

In a first, defence minister to simultaneously launch an indigenous destroyer and a frigate


By Ajai Shukla

Business Standard, 16th May 21



In a landmark event in indigenous warship building, two capital warships of the Indian Navy will be launched simultaneously at Mumbai’s Mazgaon Dock Ltd (MDL) on Tuesday. 


The warships, designed at the Directorate of Naval Design (DND)and built entirely at MDL, are the Project 15B destroyer called Indian Naval Ship (INS) Surat and the Project 17A frigate INS Udaygiri. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will preside over both events.


The navy’s internal design house, the DND, has designed the four destroyers being built under Project 15B and seven frigates under Project 17A.


The DND is the fountainhead for all of the navy’s warship design. During the building phase, MDL has ordered around 75 per cent of the equipment and systems from indigenous firms including micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said in a statement.


INS Surat and a storied ship-building town


INS Surat is the fourth destroyer in Project 15B, under which MDL is constructing four 7,400-tonne guided missile destroyers. These are called the Visakhapatnam-class after the lead vessel, INS Visakhapatnam .


According to naval tradition, destroyers are named after Indian cities. This began at the turn of the century with Project 15, under which three destroyers were built: INS Delhi in 1997, INS Mysore in 1999 and INS Mumbai in 2001.


Project 15 was followed by the three-destroyer Project 15A, of which the lead warship, INS Kolkata was commissioned in 2014, INS Kochi in 2015 and INS Chennai in 2016.


Now under way is Project 15B, of which the first destroyer, INS Visakhapatnam, was commissioned last November and the remaining three – INS MormugaoImphal and Surat – are to be commissioned at one-year intervals, in 2022, 2023 and 2024.


The cost per unit of these destroyers has steadily risen. Project 15B is expected to cost a total of ~35,800 crore – or ~8,950 crore per vessel.


INS Surat is named after the commercial capital of Gujarat, which is also the second-largest commercial hub of western India after Mumbai. Surat has a rich maritime and ship-building history. Vessels built in the city in the 16th and 18th centuries were renowned for their longevity – pulling on for more than 100 years.


(INS) Surat has been built using the block construction methodology, which involves hull construction at two different geographical locations and joined them together at MDL, Mumbai,” the MoD said on Monday. 


INS Udaygiri: When oceans meet mountains


INS Udaygiri follows the tradition of naming Indian frigates after mountain ranges in the country. This began with Project 17, which yielded three frigates: INS Shivalik in 2010, INS Satpura in 2011 and INS Sahyadri in 2012.


Following Project 17 is Project 17A, under which seven frigates are being built – four in MDL and three in the Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata. These 6,600-tonne frigates are reincarnations of the six-ship Leander-class, or the Nilgiri-class, which included INS Nilgiri (commissioned in 1972, decommissioned in 1996); INS Himgiri (1974, 2005); INS Udaygiri (1976, 2007); INS Dunagiri (1977, 2010); INS Taragiri (1980, 2013) and INS Vindhyagiri (1981, 2012).


The Nilgiri-class, named after the first-of-class, INS Nilgiri, were the first Indian warships that saw the navy carrying out significant levels of design and indigenisation.


INS Udaygiri is named after a mountain range in Andhra Pradesh, and will follow INS Nilgiri into service.


The seven Project 17A frigates are the first to have incorporated modular shipbuilding technologies, for which MDL and GRSE shipyards have been upgraded significantly. 


“Various novel concepts and technologies like integrated construction, mega block outsourcing, project data management/ project lifecycle management (PDM/PLM) etc have been adopted for the first time in indigenous warship design and construction in this project,” announced the MoD on Monday.


  1. More than the names, we are to know the armaments with which it becomes effective to sail

  2. As a tank man , we need your appraisal of why Russian tanks are duds as reported in western press.

  3. # that sons of post 1947 indian military officers more often than not chose to train as merchant seamen on TS dufferin, rajendra rather than attend NDA to be part of the indian navy has been indicative of our desi adulation for dollars and pounds. is it still the case that service as a naval officer continues to be regarded infra dig. we may have the best of boats but we do need to work towards securing the best of our young men, women to value the professionalism, camaraderie, and opportunities available within our indian navy, making life as a sailor among the highest possible callings, a vocation. else we will continue to go the IIT way, producing wall street financial engineers making big bucks with hedge-funds and private equities, or even choosing the babucracy and its darbari life 'assured career progression' to 'HAG plus', 'apex scale' rather than real engineers solving real problems, addressing real issues.


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