By Staff Correspondent
On 17 May 2022, the nation will witness a landmark event in the history of indigenous warship building when two frontline warships of the Indian Navy, Surat, a Project 15B Destroyer and Udaygiri, a Project 17A Frigate will be launched concurrently at Mazgaon Docks Limited, Mumbai. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will be the Chief Guest for both the events.
The Project 15B class of ships are the next generation stealth guided missile destroyers of the Indian Navy being built at the Mazgaon Docks Ltd, Mumbai. ‘Surat’ is the fourth ship of Project 15B Destroyers which heralds a significant makeover of the P15A (Kolkata Class) Destroyers and is named after the commercial capital of the state of Gujarat and also the second largest commercial hub of western India after Mumbai.
The city of Surat has a rich maritime and shipbuilding history and vessels built in the city in the 16th and 18th centuries were known for their longevity (of more than 100 years). The ship Surat has been built using the Block construction methodology which involved hull construction at two different geographical locations and has been joined together at MDL, Mumbai. 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/ trials.
Udaygiri, named after a mountain range in the state of Andhra Pradesh, is the third ship of Project 17A Frigates. These are follow on of the P17 Frigates (Shivalik Class) with improved stealth features, advanced weapons and sensors and platform management systems. Udaygiri is the reincarnation of erstwhile ‘Udaygiri’, the Leander Class ASW Frigate, which saw numerous challenging operations in its illustrious service to the country spanning over three decades from 18 Feb 1976 to 24 Aug 2007. Under the P17A program, a total of seven ships, with four at MDL and three at GRSE are under construction.
Various novel concepts and technologies like Integrated Construction, Mega Block Outsourcing, Project Data Management Project Lifecycle Management (PDM/PLM) etc have been adopted for the first time in indigenous Warship Design and Construction in this project. It may be recalled that the first two ships of the P17A Project, were launched in 2019 and 2020 at MDL and GRSE respectively.
Both 15B and P17A ships have been designed in-house by the Directorate of Naval Design (DND), which has been the fountainhead for all warship design activities of the Nation and during the building phase at the Shipyard, around 75% of the orders for equipment and systems have been placed on indigenous firms including MSMEs which is a true testament of AatmaNirbharta in the country.