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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Indian Navy’s stealth frigate Mahendragiri launched

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MUMBAI, Sep 1: Warship Mahendragiri, which will provide a boost to the Indian Navy’s capabilities,
was launched in Mumbai on Friday.
Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar, whose wife Sudesh launched the warship, was the chief guest at
the ceremony.
The warship has been developed by Mumbai-based Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL).
Dhankhar said it is befitting that the launch took place in a vibrant city like Mumbai.
Named after a mountain peak in the Eastern Ghats of Odisha, this is the seventh ship of Project 17A
frigates series and boasts enhanced stealth features, advanced weapons, sensors, and platform
management systems.
“I am sure that Mahendragiri, once commissioned, will proudly fly the tiranga (national tricolour)
across the oceans, as an ambassador of India’s maritime might,” Vice President Dhankhar said.
“I congratulate our force with full confidence. They will continue improving themselves for security
of the world at large,” he said.

“With a strong presence of over 10,000 women across the army, navy and air force, the Indian
armed forces have made considerable strides in gender equality,” he said.
The launch of Mahendragiri is a significant milestone in our maritime history, he said. “It is the last of
the 7 warships of the Nilgiri-class stealth frigates built under Project17A,” he added.
“Aligning with our resolute commitment to ‘Aatma Nirbharata’, a substantial 75 per cent of orders
for equipment and systems of the Nilgiri class have been made to indigenous firms,” he said.
The launch of Mahendragiri is an apt testament to the incredible progress our nation has made in
building a self-reliant naval force, Dhankhar said.
“The launch of the warship carries a clear message that India will continue to invest in maritime
power,” Dhankhar said.
The ship was designed by the Navy’s in-house design organisation, Warship Design Bureau, while the
MDL undertook the detailed design and construction.
With displacement of approximately 6,670 tonne, the 149.03 metre long and 17.8 metre wide ship is
propelled by a combination of two gas turbines and two main diesel engines which are designed to
have a speed of over 28 knots.
The steel used in the construction of the hull is indigenously developed low carbon micro alloy grade
steel manufactured by SAIL.
MDL said the ship will be fitted with a supersonic surface-to-surface missile system. The ship’s air
defence capability, designed to counter the threat of enemy aircraft and anti-ship cruise missiles,
will revolve around the vertical launch and long-range surface-to-air missile system.
Two 30 mm rapid-fire guns will provide the ship with close-in-defence capability while an SRGM gun
will enable the ship to provide effective naval gunfire support. Indigenously developed triple tube
light weight torpedo launchers and rocket launchers will add punch to the ship’s anti-submarine
capability.
The first ship of Project 17A, Nilgiri, was launched on September 28, 2019 and is being readied for
sea trials in the first half of 2024. Second ship ‘Udaygiri’ was launched on May 17 2022, and third
ship ‘Taragiri’ on September 11, 2022 by the MDL.
“The launch of Mahendragiri is some kind of record, this indicates the best of progress we are having
in this country, and this will mean five launches of the same class of warships in about 15 months, a
feat that makes us all proud,” Dhankhar said.
The speed of manufacturing warships has improved after adopting “integrated construction”
method and this has yielded geometric results for the nation’s welfare, Dhankhar said.
Dhankhar said the launch of Mahendragiri is a significant milestone in the country’s maritime history
and a substantial 75 per cent of the orders for equipment and systems of the stealth frigates of
Project 17A have been made to indigenous firms. He said the multi-mission frigates of the Project
17A series would be capable of dealing with all kinds of threats to India’s maritime interests.
“The threats are multiplying and the role of India is increasing. The world is looking at us to secure
these areas and it is gratifying to note Bharat has risen to the challenge, Indian Navy has risen to the
challenge, MDL has risen to the challenge and that is why our country will ever be on the rise. The
rise is unstoppable,” he said.
Dhankhar said India has emerged as a net security provider in the Indo-Pacific region. Thanks to the
capability of India’s naval force and its infrastructure, it is an important global player to secure and
ensure a peaceful, rule-based maritime regime across the nations, he said.
“When there is something in the ocean, it becomes very imperative to ensure there is a rule-based
maritime regime, which is under stress at the moment,” he said.
“Therefore, what we are doing today is a step in the right direction to sustain, generate, and evolve a
wholesome mechanism of rule-based maritime regime,” he said.
Dhankhar lauded the ‘Make in India’ initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“These are not empty slogans, these slogans have resulted in mega big ticket infrastructure projects
in this country, what we have are at par with the best in the world today,” the vice president said.

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Navy chief admiral R Hari Kumar said Mahendragiri will prove to be a valuable addition to navy’s
growing fleet. The ship’s versatility, coupled with attributes like access, mobility, reach, and
resilience will make Mahendragiri a unique instrument of India’s maritime power, he said.
Admiral Kumar said the warship launch comes at an important time, adding the need for an assured
umbrella of security is a must for sustaining the aspirational trajectory of the nation. At sea, the
traditional security challenges in the Indian Ocean Region, and the larger Indo-Pacific continue to
persist, he said.
Add to it, the scourge of non-traditional challenges such as piracy, drug smuggling, and natural
disasters continues, he said.
“Underpinned by the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of SAGAR – Security and Growth for All in the
Region – which incidentally has just completed 100 months in existence – the Navy has a mandate to
not only pursue, protect, preserve, and promote India’s national maritime interests, but also to be
proactive in tackling security threats that affect all in the region,” he said.
Maharashtra Governor Ramesh Bais, chief minister Eknath Shinde and deputy chief minister
Devendra Fadnavis were present at the launch ceremony. (PTI)

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