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The Hindu
The Hindu
The Hindu Bureau

Mahendragiri, seventh stealth frigate of Project 17A, launched into water

The seventh and last stealth frigate of Project 17A, Mahendragiri, was launched into water by Sudesh Dhankhar, wife of Vice-President of India Jagdeep Dhankhar, at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) in Mumbai. Under Project 17A, a total of seven ships were constructed, four at MDL and three at Garden Reach Ship Builders Limited (GRSE), Kolkata.

“The launch comes at an important time, wherein, the need for an assured umbrella of security is a must for sustaining the aspirational trajectory of our nation. At sea, the traditional security challenges in the Indian Ocean Region, and the larger Indo-Pacific continue to persist. Add to it, the scourge of non-traditional challenges such as piracy, drug smuggling, natural disasters, etc., continues,” Navy Chief Adm. R. Hari Kumar said speaking at the launch.

What makes this event even more memorable for the Indian Navy is the fact that this is the second launch of P-17As in a short span of two weeks, Adm. Kumar noted referring to the launch of Vindhyagiri on August 17 at GRSE. On the names of this class, the Navy Chief said names draw from the erstwhile ‘Giri Class’, which marked the beginning of India’s “determined journey towards becoming a ‘Builders Navy’ - a strategic decision to design in-house and build ships indigenously”. “Our Warship Design Bureau has designed over 90 ships of 20 different Classes... Mahendragiri is yet another state-of-the-art multi-role frigate - Made in India, Made by India, Made for India!,” he added.

Following the launch, Mahendragiri will join its three sister ships at the Wet Basins of MDL, for remaining outfitting activities and equipment trials, in the run-up to their delivery and commissioning, the Navy said in a statement.

Sudesh Dhankhar, wife of Vice-President of India Jagdeep Dhankhar, with other dignitaries at the launch of INS Mahendragiri (Source: Special arrangement)

Project 17A frigates are the follow-on Class of Project 17 ‘Shivalik Class’ frigates, with improved stealth features, advanced weapons, sensors, and platform-management systems.

Stating that over 75% of the orders of Project 17A have been placed with indigenous firms including Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), the Navy said that economic development, employment generation, growth of MSMEs, and ancillary industry in the country are positive spin-offs of the shipbuilding project.

The first two ships of P-17A were launched in 2019 and 2020 at MDL and GRSE respectively. The project cost of seven ships under Project 17A was ₹45,000 crore as sanctioned by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) in 2015. Fincantieri of Italy is the know-how provider for technology upgrade and capability enhancement in this project.

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