New Delhi: According to a press release from the Ministry of Defence (MoD), the ‘Himgiri’, the first of three Project 17A ships being built at Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Limited (GRSE), Kolkata, was launched on Monday, 14 December. She made her first contact with the waters of Hoogly River at 1:35 pm at the launch ceremony. General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), was the chief guest. In keeping with Naval traditions, Madhulika Rawat, spouse of CDS Rawat, launched the ship to the chanting of invocations from the Atharvaveda. The ship has taken its name and crest from the second Frigate of the Leander Class of ships, which incidentally was launched 50 years ago in 1970, stated the Defence Ministry.
The MoD revealed that under the Project 17A program, a total of seven ships – four at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) and three ships at GRSE – are being built with enhanced stealth features, advanced indigenous weapon, and sensor fit, along with several other improvements. The launch of Himgiri has showcased GRSE’s commitment towards the building of three state-of-the-art warships of P17A for Indian Navy, the Defence Ministry stated, adding that, over the years, GRSE has emerged as a leading shipyard, having built over 100 ships. The yard has scaled up its infrastructure and skillsets to meet new challenges in the building of P17A ships. P17A ships are the first gas turbine propulsion and largest combat platforms ever built at GRSE.
According to the press note, since its inception, Project 17A has upheld India’s vision for Aatmanirbhar Bharat. P17A ships have been indigenously designed by Directorate of Naval Design (Surface Ship Design Group) – DND (SSG) – and are being built at indigenous yards viz. MDL and GRSE. Naval shipbuilding provides a great opportunity to energise the economy post-Covid-19, the Defence Ministry said, adding that Project 17A ships are sourcing 80% of the material/equipment required for the project from indigenous vendors and with employment generation for over 2,000 Indian firms and MSMEs within the country. The modular construction of the ship through outsourcing and integrated construction methodology is being used to enhance GRSE’s productivity for delivery of ships targeted in August 2023.
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