Rajnath Singh to launch two indigenously built frontline warships on May 17

Two indigenously built frontline warships of the Indian Navy will be launched on May 17 at Mazagon Docks in Mumbai by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

A statement from the Indian Navy said the nation would witness a landmark event in the history of indigenous warship building when Surat, a Project 15B destroyer, and Udaygiri, a Project 17A frigate, would be launched.

The Project 15B class of ships are the next-generation stealth, guided missile destroyers of the Navy being built at Mazagon Docks. Surat is the fourth of Project 15B destroyers. It heralds a significant makeover of the P15A (Kolkata Class) destroyers and is named after the commercial capital of Gujarat and also the second-largest commercial hub of western India, after Mumbai. Surat has a rich maritime and ship building history and vessels built at the city in the 16th and 18th centuries were known for their longevity (of more than 100 years), the statement said.

The warship Surat has been built using the block construction method, which involved hull construction at two different geographical locations. The first ship of this class was commissioned in 2021. The second and third ships have been launched and are at different stages of outfitting or trials.

Udaygiri, named after a mountain range in Andhra Pradesh, is the third of Project 17A frigates. They have improved stealth features, advanced weapons and sensors and platform management systems. Udaygiri is the reincarnation of the erstwhile Udaygiri, the Leander Class ASW frigate, which saw numerous challenging operations in its illustrious service to the country spanning over three decades from February 18, 1976 to August 24, 2007. Under the P17A programme, a total of seven ships are under construction–four at Mazagon Docks and three at Kolkata’s Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers.

Various novel concepts and technologies like integrated construction, mega block outsourcing, project data management/project lifecycle management etc have been adopted for the first time in indigenous warship design and construction, the statement said.

The first two ships of P17A Project were launched in 2019 and 2020 at Mazagon Docks and Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers respectively.

Both 15B and P17A ships have been designed in-house by the Directorate of Naval Design, the fountainhead for all warship design activities in India, and during their building phase at the shipyard, around 75 per cent of the equipment and systems were sourced from indigenous firms including micro, small and medium enterprises, the statement added.

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