India shipyard lays keel for second next generation warship

Photo: Indian Navy vice chief Vice Admiral G. Ashok Kumar (centre right) along with other naval and GRSE officers at the P17A second frigate keel-laying today.

Kolkata: India’s state-run Garden Research Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE) today touched a key milestone under the navy’s next generation frigates project, with a keel laying for the second of the three warships it would build under the programme.

India’s Vice Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral G. Ashok Kumar was present when a Shipbuilding Shop structural fitter (Sk-II) D. Santra laid the keel of the second of the three advanced stealth frigates under the seven-warship P17A project.

GRSE Chairman and Managing Director Rear Admiral V. K. Saxena (retired) and Director (Finance) S. S. Dogra, Director (Shipbuilding) Commodore Sanjeev Nayyar (retired), Director (Personnel) Commodore P. R. Hari, Director (Personnel) and the navy’s Director General (Naval Design) Rear Admiral G. K. Harish, apart from naval and shipyard officers.

The prestigious contract of Rs. 19,294 crore ($ 2.7 billion) for construction of three highly advanced stealth frigates under Project 17A is the largest ever won by the shipyard.

The contract was signed between the Ministry of Defence and GRSE on Feb. 20, 2015. The first ship is expected to be delivered in 2023 and the next two ships in 2024 and 2025 respectively, the shipyard said in a statement.

The P17A frigates are state-of-the-art guided missile frigates. Each of these ships are 149-metre long, with displacement of approximately 6,670 tonne and a speed of 28 knots.

The P17A stealth frigates are being built deploying the latest Integrated Construction Methodology with enhanced pre-outfitting to enhance quality and reduce build periods considerably.

The GRSE has appointed Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri as the know-how provider for technology upgrade and capability enhancement.

“New initiatives are being undertaken in shipbuilding at GRSE to gear up to meet future challenges and deliver quality ships on time,” Rear Admiral Saxena said.

The GRSE chairman brought out that the shipyard has the capacity to build 20 ships concurrently and is enhancing capacity to build 24 warships concurrently over the next few years.

“GRSE can be proud of its achievements as it continues to build complex ships under stringent timelines,” Vice Admiral G. Ashok Kumar said.

“The Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard are on a growth path which bodes well for the shipyard’s future wherein quality ships are expected on time,” the vice chief added.

GRSE currently has a strong order book position of around Rs 27, 400 crore ($3.84 billion) under which there are a total of 19 warships at various stages of construction under six projects that are underway: Five projects of the Indian Navy and one of the Indian Coast Guard.

GRSE have delivered five warships to the Indian Navy in last 10 months between Mar. and Dec. 2019. The shipyard has been recently awarded with the ICC PSE Excellence Award (2017-18) for ‘Operational Performance Excellence’ and 16th National Award for ‘Excellence in Cost Management’ in the category of Medium Public Sector Manufacturing Companies.

GRSE is aggressively bidding for the new Request for Proposals (RFP) that have been issued by Ministry of Defence. Continuing research and innovation, excellent product quality, world-class modern infrastructure, and a strong corporate structure coupled with a competent and experienced human capital including around 100 in-house design engineers, promise a bright future for GRSE.

GRSE continues to increas its thrust on export of warships, incorporation of latest technologies (Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Analytics) in various areas of operations to improve internal operating efficiencies and profit margins, the shipyard said in the statement.

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