Its a red letter day for Indian Navy

In a red letter day for Indian Navy, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday commissioned state-of-the-art submarine INS Khanderi, launched stealth frigate Nilgiri and inaugurated the country's biggest dry dock that can accommodate big aircraft carriers.

Singh, who was accompanied by top Naval brass including Admiral Karambir Singh, the chief of naval staff, said India is a huge country with immense maritime potential with 7,500 odd kilometres of coastline strategically extending into the Indian Ocean, expanding maritime dimensions of India to carry out trade with the furthermost corners of the world.

"With the 70% of our trade by value and 95% by volume taking place through the sea route, even a slight disruption of seaborne trade due to piracy, terrorism, or conflict, could have serious repercussions on the economic growth and well-being of our nation," he added.



The first sealth frigate under the Project 17-A, is being built at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited, Mumbai. With a launch weight of 2738 tonnes, the completed warship will be 149 meters in length, 17.8 meters wide and have a tonnage of 6670 tonnes. 

In keeping with maritime traditions, Savitri Singh, the spouse of defence minister, broke a coconut on the ship’s bow and launched the ship to the rendition of an invocation from the Atharva Veda. The Project 17-A is the follow-up of the Project 17 which comprise the three Shivalik Class of Stealth Frigates. The ships being built under Project 17-A will incorporate advanced design features and fittings to improve stealth such as radar suppression screens and radar transparent deck fittings. They will also be equipped with state of the art sensors, weapons and have high levels of automation. 

INS Khanderi is the second of the Indian Navy's six Kalvari-class submarines being built in India. It is a diesel-electric attack submarine which is designed by French naval defence and energy company DCNS and being manufactured at MDL.   

The state-of-art features of the Scorpene include superior stealth and the ability to launch a crippling attack on the enemy using precision guided weapons. The attack can be launched with torpedoes, as well as tube launched anti-ship missiles, whilst underwater or on surface. The stealth features give it invulnerability, unmatched by many submarines.

As regards the dry dock,  it is the biggest so far. This is probably the only dry dock in the country that is surrounded by sea from three sides. The pumps used are so powerful that each pump can fill a tank of 10000 cu m in 3 seconds. There are eight such pumps installed and can remove water from the dock in approx two-and-a-half hours.

Construction major Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) has built the dry dock for the Indian Navy. It has taken a little less than a decade's time for the construction, which was full of challenges, to complete.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who would be in Mumbai on September 28, will inaugurate the state-of-the-art dry dock along the Arabian Sea, official sources said.

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