On May 17, 2022, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launched two Indian Navy frontline warships–the Indian Naval Ship (s) (INS)—‘INS Surat’ & ‘INS Udaygiri’—at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (previously known as Mazagon Docks Limited) (MDL) in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
INS Surat is the fourth and last Guided Missile Destroyer of the ‘Project 15B’ class, whereas INS Udaygiri is the second Stealth Frigate of the ‘Project 17A’ class. The Directorate of Naval Design (DND) of the Indian Navy designed and built both warships indigenously at MDL in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
Project 15B (P15B) & Project 17A (P17A)
The Project 15B (P15B) class of ships are the Indian Navy’s next-generation stealth guided missile destroyers, which are being built at the MDL. They are the successors to the Project 15A (P15A) (Kolkata Class) Destroyers, which are more weapon-intensive.
- The P15A Destroyers are the successors to the iconic Project 15 ‘Delhi’ class Destroyers, which first entered service in the late 1990s. The P15A ships are named after three important Indian port cities: Kolkata, Kochi, and Chennai.
The Project 17A (P17A) Frigates are warships that are successors of the Project 17 (P17) (Shivalik Class) Frigates, with enhanced stealth features, advanced weapons and sensors, and platform management systems.
- Seven P17A Frigates are currently being built, with four at MDL and three at Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE).
For the first time in indigenous Warship Design and Construction, various unique concepts and technologies such as Integrated Construction, Mega Block Outsourcing, Project Data Management, Project Lifecycle Management (PDM/PLM), and others were used in this project.
- During the building phase, MDL sourced over 75% of the equipment and systems from Indian companies, including micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), in accordance with the Indian government’s vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ (Self-Reliant India).
- Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) has supplied 4300 Tonnes of special steel for India’s indigenous navy warships INS ‘Udaygiri’ and INS ‘Surat’. The entire quantity of steel has been supplied from SAIL’s Bokaro, Bhilai and Rourkela Steel Plants.
i.INS Surat – the fourth ship of Project 15B Destroyers heralds a significant makeover of the P15A (Kolkata Class) Destroyers and is named after the city ‘Surat’ – the commercial capital of the state of Gujarat and also the second largest commercial hub of western India after Mumbai.
- These are called the Visakhapatnam-class after the lead vessel, INS Visakhapatnam, which was commissioned in 2021. The three remaining ships are: INS Mormugao, INS Imphal and INS Surat.
- Surat has a significant maritime and ship-building history, and vessels built in the city during the 16th and 18th centuries are well-known for their durability.
ii.The INS Surat is built utilising the Block construction methodology, which involved hull construction in two different geographical locations and joining them together at MDL in Mumbai.
i.INS Udaygiri – the third ship of P17A frigates, which are followed on of the P17 Frigates (Shivalik Class). It is named after the Udaygiri mountain range in Andhra Pradesh, following the custom of naming Indian frigates after mountain ranges in India.
- This began with Project 17, which resulted in three frigates: INS Shivalik in 2010, INS Satpura in 2011, and INS Sahyadri in 2012.
ii.The P17A frigates are 6,600-tonne frigates that are reincarnations of the six-ship Leander-class, also known as the Nilgiri-class, which includes the INS Nilgiri (commissioned in 1972, decommissioned in 1996), INS Himgiri (1974, 2005), INS Udaygiri (1976, 2007), INS Dunagiri (1977, 2010), INS Taragiri (1980, 2013), and INS Vindhyagiri (1981, 2012).
About Indian Navy:
Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) – Admiral R Hari Kumar
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi
The commands of the Indian Navy – The Western Naval Command (Headquarters at Mumbai); The Eastern Naval Command (Headquarters at Visakhapatnam); The Southern Naval Command (Headquarters at Kochi);Andaman & Nicobar Command (Headquarters at Port Blair).