India state-controlled shipyard Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) recently hosted a keel-laying ceremony for the Indian Navy’s third Project 17A stealth guided-missile frigate.
The keel for the third Nilgiri-class unit — Yard 3024 — was laid at the GRSE facility in Kolkata on 5 March 2021.
Under the Project 17A program, a total of seven ships — four at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) and three at GRSE — are to be built. The contract for the construction of three frigates awarded to GRSE has a value of more than Rs 19,293 crore.
Project 17A is an improved class of the Project 17 (P17) Shivalik-class frigate for the Indian Navy.
Featuring a length of 149 meters in length, the frigates will have a tonnage of 6,670 tonnes. Propelled by two diesel and two gas turbine powerplants in a CODAG configuration, the frigates will be able to achieve speeds in excess of 28 knots.
All seven Project 17A vessels will have the namesake from its previous class, the Leander ships.
The Indian Navy’s lead Project 17A frigate, INS Nilgiri, was launched at MDL shipyard in Mumbai, in September 2019. It is expected to be commissioned in summer next year.
The second unit from the batch, INS Himgiri was launched at GRSE in December 2020. Its commissioning is planned for August 2023.
Also this month, the Indian Navy commissioned its third Scorpene-class diesel-electric attack sumbarine, INS Karanj. The commissioning ceremony took place at the Naval Dockyard Mumbai on 10 March 2021, following the newbuild’s delivery in February.