First indigenous stealth frigate to be commissioned during Diwali


Navy Chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta at a news conference in New Delhi on Thursday. PTI

The Admiral, who is retiring at the end of the month, expressed his wish to see the commissioning of the 5000 tonne ship before relinquishing office.

“IT is my fervent desire to see the Shivalik being commissioned (into the Navy) during my time. She is almost there, but not quite,” Mehta said.

Three indigenous stealth frigates are under construction now at Mumbai’s Mazgaon Dock Ltd and four more are in the offing. Eventually, the Navy is planning to create a fleet of 12 Shivaliks.

3 more frigates

There are also plans to add three more Russian stealth frigates to the current stock of three in the Navy — INS Trishul, Talwar and Tabar.

Asked if the Navy has made progress in negotiating the price of Admiral Gorshkov with the Russians, Mehta said talks have been going on with a Russian team visiting Delhi. He said the newly agreed price of the aircraft career will be announced in two days time.

Resolving the price stalemate, besides a tight delivery schedule, is vital for initiating an early trial, since the fast approaching winter may deny even the slimmest chance for an open sea trial.

Meanwhile, the Navy chief admitted that there has been delay in developing six Scorpene submarines at the Mazagaon docks due to delay in importing equipments from France’s DCNS.

The components  are to be installed in the hull at the Mumbai dock.

The department of defence production and MDL are investigating the delay, as the manufacturer is under contractual obligation. “Without doubt we have lost a lot of time,” the Navy chief agreed.

The Admiral said the union cabinet would require time to decide on appointing a Maritime Security Advisor on the lines of the National Security Advisor.
Despite demands for MSA after the 26/11, the government did not sanction the post while revamping the coastal security management.

Nirmal Kumar Verma will become the Navy chief after Admiral’s Mehta’s term of office gets over at the end of the month.

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