The first of the Indian Navy's seven new stealth frigates – to be christened as INS Nilgiri on induction - will be launched on September 28.
Constructed at a cost of nearly Rs 48,000 crore, all the seven indigenous warships would be inducted between 2022 and 2025.
Keeping in tune with the naval tradition, the Nilgiri will be released in water by Savitri Singh, wife of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at Mazgaon dock, which would construct four of the seven ships. The remaining three would be built at Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers, Kolkata.
The new generation combat vessels with Barak-8 medium range surface to air missile, Brahmos cruise missile and Israeli radar has been named after the original Nilgiri class platforms – the first warship ever made in India.
All the six Nilgiri class ships – INS Nilgiri, INS Himgiri, INS Udaygiri, INS Dunagiri, INS Taragiri, and INS Vindhyagiri – were commissioned in the 1970s and early 1980s, and decommissioned after three decades, between 1996 and 2013. They would now return in the new stealth avatar.
“With the new Nilgiri class having seven warships, we have found a name for the seventh ship – it will be called INS Mahendragiri,” Vice Admiral G Ashok Kumar, Vice Chief of the Navy said here on Tuesday.
“The seven ships under Project-17A have nearly 80% indigenous content in the float and move portions,” he said. For ease in the construction, the warship is divided into a float, move and fight components in order to ease out the process of sourcing the materials.
On the same day in Mumbai, Singh would preside over a function to commission the second Scorpene class submarine INS Khanderi and inaugurate a Rs 1,320 crore dry dock constructed at the naval dockyard. The dry dock is big enough to accommodate India's biggest warship – the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya.
“The dry dock is one of the support infrastructures that we need to become a 175-ship Navy. Currently, there are 51 ships and submarines under construction at various yards, out of which 49 are being made in Indian yards,” said Kumar. The remaining two are Russian frigates.