Mumbai: Indian Navy's Stealth Frigate Mahendragiri Launched For Sea Trials

Mumbai: Indian Navy's Stealth Frigate Mahendragiri Launched For Sea Trials

The warship, named after a mountain peak in Eastern Ghats of Odisha, is the seventh and last stealth frigate of Project 17A.

Dharmesh ThakkarUpdated: Saturday, September 02, 2023, 12:47 AM IST
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Indian Navy's latest warship Mahendragiri | Salman Ansari

Indian Navy's latest warship Mahendragiri, developed by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL), was launched for sea trials amid fanfare in Mumbai on Friday morning.

The warship, named after a mountain peak in Eastern Ghats of Odisha, is the seventh and last stealth frigate of Project 17A.

The warship having a displacement of 6,670 tonne with 149m length, 17.8m width and top speed of 28 knots marked a significant milestone in its construction while entering the water for the first time for trials.

Project 17A frigates are a follow-on to the Project 17 (Shivalik class) frigates, with improved stealth features, advanced weapons and sensors, and platform management systems.

The previous five warships under Project 17A were launched during 2019-22 with President Droupadi Murmu launching the sixth warship Vindhyagiri at Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata on August 17.

Warships expected to be delivered to the Navy between 2024-26

All Project 17A warships are currently in different stages of construction and are expected to be delivered to the navy from 2024-26.

The latest launch comes at a time when self-reliance in defence is a top priority for the government, and when the power dynamics in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) are changing with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army-Navy (PLAN) making concerted efforts to increase its footprint.

Six Nilgiri-class warships have been launched with Nilgiri and Himgiri launched in 2019 and 2020, respectively and scheduled to be commissioned between 2025 and 2027. The launch of Udaygiri, Dunagiri, Taragiri and Vindhyagiri began in May 2022 and is expected to join the naval fleet by 2024-26.

Radar-absorbing coatings

The Nilgiri warships are built with new radar-absorbing coatings, composite materials and shape superstructures that avoid radar detection. Mahendragiri will have a 76mm main gun, two 30 mm AK-630M anti-aircraft artillery systems, two torpedo tubes, launchers for eight BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles and 32 Barak-8 surface to air missiles. Its main radar will be MF-STAR.

The Nilgiri-class warships have been designed in-house by Indian Navy’s Warship Design Bureau, the pioneer organisation for all warship design activities.

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