India inducts third indigenous stealth frigate (Lead)

July 21st, 2012 - 3:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, July 21 (IANS) Adding teeth to its surface combatants fleet, India Saturday commissioned INS Sahyadri, the third of its indigenously designed and built warships which will enhance the country’s blue water capacity and ensure maritime security.

The state-of-the-art 142.5-metre-long frigate with a lethal mix of array of weaponry and sensors was commissioned here by Defence Minister A.K. Antony.

INS Sahyadri is the third and last of the Project-17 warships built at the Mazagon Docks Limited (MDL) with help from the Indian Navy’s internal design bureau.

The first two ships in the class are INS Shivalik and INS Satpura, which are now on active duty, including anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.

Speaking at the induction ceremony, Antony said Indian Navy’s role as a key facilitator in promoting peace and stability in the Indian Ocean region has been highly appreciated.

“However, the present operating environment of our navy dictates that we balance our resources, with a strategy that is responsive across the full range of blue and brown water operations,” he said.

INS Shivalik had last month sailed up to China’s western Pacific coast on a long-haul deployment and had berthed in Shanghai.

The Project 17 warships are christened after hill ranges in India. The 4,900-tonne vessels have one of the most advanced design with stealth features in the Indian Navy stable.

The MDL had laid the keel of INS Sahyadri in March 2003 and launched it in the water in May 2005. The warship had gone out into the Arabian Sea for sea trials earlier this year.

India plans to build seven more warships of this class in the future as a follow-on Project-17A.

The Shivalik class frigates are 142-metre-long and 17 metres wide. They run on two Pielstick 16 PA6 STC diesel engines and two GE LM2500+ boost turbines in combined diesel or gas (CODOG) configuration.

INS Shivalik was commissioned in April 2010 and INS Satpura in August 2011. With the commissioning of INS Sahyadri, Project-17, which cost nearly Rs.10 billion, stands completed.

The Shivalik class frigates are mounted with an MR-760 Fregat M2EM 3-D air search radar, HUMSA (hull-mounted sonar array), four MR-90 Orekh radar, an ELTA EL/M 2238 surveillance and theatre alert radar, two ELTA EL/M 2221 search-track-and-guidance radar, ATAS-Thales Sintra towed array systems, BEL Aparna fire control radar and BEL Ajanta electronic warfare suite to counter an enemy attack.

These also carry a mix of Indian, Russian, and Western weapons such as the 3-inch Otobreda gun, DTA-53-956 torpedo launchers, RBU-6000 rocket launchers, Shtil surface-to-air missile system with 24 short to medium range missiles, Klub anti-ship cruise missiles, Indian BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles and the Israeli Barak-I missile defence system.

The frigates are capable of carrying two helicopters of the Dhruv, Sea King or Kamov varieties.

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