The Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE) today laid down the Keel of the third and final ship of the Advanced Stealth Frigate Project P 17A in the Yard 3024. GRSE laid the keel of the first ship of the P 17 A or the Niligiri Class Frigate in 2018 and the keel of the second ship was laid in January 2020. GRSE will build 3 ships of the class and the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) is contracted to build 4 ships of the class. MDL too has also laid down the keel for 3 frigates and is in the process of keel laying for the 4th one in coming months.
The P-17A project is progressing faster than previous warship projects due to modular construction. The first ship of the class, to be named INS Himgiri, was launched by GRSE in December 2020. Fincantieri Italy is the Knowhow Provider for Technology Upgrade/Capability Enhancement in this project.
The Defence Acquisitions Council had cleared the sensors and weapons package for the seven new stealth frigates (P-17A) to be built by GRSE and MDL in March 2016. In 2018, Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) had secured a contract worth Rs 9200 crores for the supply of the Indo-Israeli MRSAM system from MDL & GRSE for fitment on board Project P-17A frigates.
The contract for 3 Stealth Frigates under Project 17A is the largest ever order awarded to GRSE by the Ministry of Defence with a value of over Rs.19,293 crores. Cost of seven frigates is over ₹48,000 crores. GRSE is scheduled to deliver the three P-17A stealth frigates during the period 2023-25. Project – 17A is a follow-on to the Shivalik-class stealth frigates or the P 17 frigates.
The Indian Navy has planned to christen the P-17A frigates as Nilgiri class, based on the names of the decommissioned Leander-class frigates. Since, the Leander class series had only 6 ships, the 7th P-17A will be named INS Mahendragiri. The Leander class ships of the Indian Navy were named INS Nilgiri, INS Himgiri, INS Udaygiri, INS Taragiri and INS Vindhyagiri.