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Mission accomplished as India launches its seventh Stealth Frigate

Warships like Mahendragiri have significantly helped the Indian Navy to emerge as a formidable force in the Indian Ocean Region (Image courtesy: Twitter/@VPIndia)

Named after a mountain peak in Eastern Ghats of Orissa, Mahendragiri – the seventh and final Stealth Frigate of Project 17A – descended into the waters of Arabian Sea during an impressive launch ceremony held at the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDSL) in Mumbai on Friday.

Launched by Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar’s wife Sudesh Dhankhar, the newly-christened Mahendragiri is a technologically advanced warship and stands as a symbol of India’s determination to embrace its rich naval heritage, while propelling itself towards a future of indigenous defence capabilities.

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

Under the project, a total of four ships by MDL and three by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE) in Kolkata are under various stages of construction.

The first six ships of the project have been launched between 2019-2023.

The design of Advanced Stealth Frigates also showcases the prowess of the Warship Design Bureau, in designing technologically advanced warships for the Indian Navy.

With the launch, India’s indigenous expertise and engineering capabilities receives a major boost, reducing the country’s dependence on foreign suppliers, promoting self-reliance and fostering a robust defence industrial base.

Aligning with the government’s resolute commitment to ‘Aatma Nirbharata’, a substantial 75% of the orders for equipment and systems of Project 17A ships have been ordered on indigenous firms, including Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

The MDSL has played a pivotal role in contributing to the nation’s maritime capabilities by constructing warships and delivering vessels ranging from patrol boats to stealth frigates.

Following the launch, Mahendragiri will join its three sister ships at the Wet Basins of MDL, to progress remaining outfitting activities and equipment trials, in the run up to their delivery and commissioning.

Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar called the launch of Mahendragiri a significant milestone in India’s maritime history and mentioned that the warships have significantly helped the Indian Navy to emerge as a formidable force in the Indian Ocean Region.

“The launch of the warship today carries the clear message that India will continue to invest in her maritime power. May this warship serve as a powerful testament of our resolve and commitment to national security, and our vision of a prosperous and secure future,” said the Vice President.

The event was also attended by Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Chief of the Naval Staff, senior ministers from the state government, senior dignitaries and senior officers from the Ministry of Defence and Indian Navy besides shipbuilders and spectators.