India launches second home-built stealth warship (Lead)

August 20th, 2011 - 3:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Aug 20 (IANS) The Indian Navy added to its striking capabilities Saturday by commissioning its second indigenously designed and built warship, INS Satpura, a multi-role combatant stealth frigate that can hoodwink enemy and catch him off-guard.

The state of the art 142.5-metre long frigate with a lethal mix of an array of weaponry and sensors was commissioned by naval chief Admiral Nirmal Verma.

The second of the Shivalik class frigates - conceived, designed and constructed by an Indian naval team - will be among the frontline warships of the Indian Navy that currently has a fleet of 130 vessels, including an aircraft carrier, 20 landing ships, eight destroyers, 12 frigates and 16 attack submarines.

The first vessel of the Shivalik class frigates, INS Shivalik, was commissioned in April last year. The third ship, INS Sahyadri, is likely to be commissioned next year. The Project 17 under which the three stealth vessels were built, has cost over Rs.8,100 crore.

India is among very few countries in the world having the capability of building stealth warships. The other countries with this capability are the US, Britain, Russia, France, China, Japan and Italy.

INS Satpura with versatile control systems and radar cross-section reduction features and missile capabilities will considerably augment the Indian Navy’s lethal punch.

The ship has the capability to outsmart the enemy with its low radar cross-section, less heat radiation and diminished noise vibrations. This makes the detection of the ship more difficult and that ultimately gives it more time to react in case of a strike.

However, it does not mean the 6,200-tonne sailing machine would be invisible in the sea. But its features enable it to hit before being hit.

This warship is equipped with Israeli Barak surface-to-air missile and Russian Klub cruise missile systems, torpedoes, anti-submarine missile and two helicopters.

It was developed by state-run Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) here and is a part of the Indian Navy’s indigenous design and build project.

Navy chief Verma called it a “red letter day for the Indian armed forces.”

The stealth frigate was to be inaugurated by Defence Minister A.K. Antony but he cancelled his trip to Mumbai at the last minute.

The commissioning was marked by hoisting of the naval flag on the ship by Verma and a naval band playing the national anthem.

–Indo-Asian New Service
sk-mb/sak/vt

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