Surat and Udaygiri two frontline warships of the Indian Navy, will be launched simultaneously on Tuesday, marking a watershed moment in indigenous warship construction.
Surat, a Project 15B Destroyer, and Udaygiri, a Project 17A Frigate, will be launched into the Arabian Sea simultaneously at Mumbai’s Mazgaon Docks Ltd.
The chief guest for both occasions will be Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
The Indian Navy’s next-generation stealth guided-missile destroyers, the Project 15B class, are being built at the MDL in Mumbai.
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Surat is the fourth ship in the Project 15B destroyer class, which marks a significant upgrade over the P15A or Kolkata-class destroyers. It is named after Gujarat’s commercial capital and second-largest commercial hub of western India after Mumbai.
Surat has a lengthy marine and shipbuilding heritage, with warships built in the 16th and 18th centuries famed for their durability (of more than 100 years).
The ship Surat was built utilising the Block building process, which involves the hull being built in two different locations and then being welded together at MDL in Mumbai. In 2021, the first ship in this class was commissioned. The second and third ships have sailed and are in various phases of outfitting and trials.
The third ship of the Project 17A frigates, Udaygiri, is named after a mountain range in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
These are the P17 frigates or Shivalik-successors, class’s with greater stealth, upgraded armament and sensors, and platform management systems.
Udaygiri is the reincarnation of the former ‘Udaygiri,’ a Leander-class ASW frigate that underwent multiple tough operations throughout its three-decade service to the country from 1976 to 2007.
A total of seven ships are being built under the P17A programme, with four at MDL and three at GRSE.
Integrated Construction, Mega Block Outsourcing, Project Data Management, Project Lifecycle Management (PDM/PLM), and other unique concepts and technologies were used for the first time in indigenous warship design and construction in this project. It should be noted that the P17A Project’s first two ships were launched in 2019 and 2020 at MDL and GRSE, respectively.
‘Both the 15B and P17A ships were designed in-house by the Directorate of Naval Design (DND), which has been the nation’s fountainhead for all warship design activities, and during the shipyard’s construction phase, around 75 percent of the orders for equipment and systems were placed on indigenous firms, including MSMEs, which is a true testament of Atma Nirbharta in the country,’ an Indian official Navy spokesperson said.