KOLKATA, Aug 17: ‘Vindhyagiri’, an advanced stealth frigate anchored on the banks of the river Hooghly in Kolkata now epitomizes the country’s endeavor to become self-reliant.
President Droupadi Murmu, while launching the ship at a dock in the city on Thursday, termed its indigenous construction as a symbol of Amanirbhar Bharat or self-reliance in ship building. West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose and chief minister Mamata Banerjee were also present on the occasion.
The city based Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) constructed the advanced ship for the Indian Navy.
The state-of-the-art ship will be fitted with the latest gadgets and undergo extensive trials before being handed over to the Indian Navy for commissioning into service.
“I am very happy to be here at the launch of Vindhyagiri. This event marks a move forward in enhancing India’s maritime capabilities. Vindhyagiri is also a step towards achieving the goal of Atmanirbhar Bharat through indigenous ship-building,” Droupadi Murmu said at the programme.
She congratulated the Indian Navy and everyone involved in the design and construction of this ship.
“I want to congratulate the entire team of GRSE for having constructed and delivered more than one hundred warships including frigates like Vindhyagiri. Your skill and tireless efforts have brought us to this milestone,” she said.
“Project 17A of which Vindhyagiri is a part, reflects our commitment to self-reliance and technological advancement. This project demonstrates indigenous innovation for developing state-of-the-art technology. I have been informed that the multi-mission frigates of this series would be capable of dealing with all kinds of threats to our maritime interests,” she said.
Kolkata’s strategic location makes it vital for our naval preparedness, safeguarding our maritime interests and maintaining regional stability.
Murmu said the ship is aptly named after the ‘Vindhya’ ranges, which have been a symbol of fortitude. “I am confident that when this warship gets commissioned, it will symbolise the robustness of the Vindhyas,” she said.
Highlighting the importance of ensuring security in the Indian Ocean Region and the larger Indo-Pacific the President said, “It includes piracy, armed robbery, drug smuggling, illegal human migration, natural disasters and several such issues. Against this backdrop, the Indian Navy has the mandate to protect, preserve, and promote India’s maritime interests. The Navy has to always remain proactive in tackling security threats.”
This is the sixth of the seven ships built under ‘Project 17 Alpha’ for the Navy. The first five ships of the project were launched between 2019 and 2022.
This is also the third and last stealth frigate that the Kolkata-based warship maker has built for the Navy under the project.
An official said 75 per cent of orders for equipment and systems of P17A ships are from indigenous firms, including micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
P17A ships are guided missile frigates, each of which is 149 metres long, with the displacement of approximately 6,670 tonnes and a speed of 28 knots, according to a GRSE official. These are capable of neutralising threats in all three dimensions of air, surface and sub-surface. (PTI)