Indian Navy: It is a big day for Indian Navy as not only another stealth submarine INS Khanderi was formally commissioned in the force on Saturday but the same day the first frigate of a new stealth class ships was also launched for sea trials by defence minister Rajnath Singh in Mumbai.
A total seven frigates of this new class known as Project 17A will be indigenously built by public sector naval yard Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDSL) in Mumbai.
Project 17A frigates are a design derivative of Shivalik class stealth frigates with much more advanced stealth features and indigenous weapons and sensors.
These stealth frigates of Indian Navy are being built using integrated construction methodology.
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“The P17A frigates incorporate new design concepts for improved survivability, sea keeping, stealth and ship manoeuvrability,” said ministry of defence in a statement.
Earlier in the day, Rajnath Singh commissioned India’s second Scorpene Classs stealth attack submarine INS Khanderi and later he launched INS Nilgiri, both platforms built by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDSL).
Commissioning and launching of these two platforms on the same day will significantly boost Indian Navy’s underwater and blue water warfare capabilities.
The Modi government is making concerted efforts to modernise the navy and equip it with the best platforms, weapons and sensors to deal with any conventional and unconventional threats to India’s maritime interests, said defence minister Rajnath Singh at the time of launch of INS Nilgiri.
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Why securing sea-lanes are important for India
Defence minister said 70% of India’s trade by value and 95% by volume is taking place through the sea route and 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 the nation.
He said India is growing and its commercial interests are spreading far and beyond, yet there are challenges, including a hostile neighbourhood.
“State-sponsored terrorism remains a challenge and the strong-willed government will not hesitate to take tough decisions in the larger interest of the country,” added defence minister Rajnath Singh.
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He was talking about the bold steps taken recently by Modi government as it scrapped the special status of Jammu & Kashmir under the Constitution to fully integrate the region with the rest of the country.
Defence minister also emphsised on the need for developing indigenous design and manufacture of defence equipment adding that Make in India and Design and Make in India are crucial for India’s security.
Rajnath Singh also commissioned the largest dry dock of Indian Navy – The Aircraft Carrier Dock at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai. He termed it as an edifice of modern India.