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About The INS Vindhyagiri

Context:

President launched INS Vindhyagiri, the last in the series of three Project 17A (Alpha) frigates. It was built by the Indian Navy at Kolkata-based Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE).

Relevance:

GS III: Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Stealth Frigates: Cutting-Edge Naval Warfare Vessels
  2. Project 17A: Advancing India’s Naval Capabilities
  3. Key Highlights of Project 17A Frigates

Stealth Frigates: Cutting-Edge Naval Warfare Vessels

A stealth frigate is an advanced naval warship designed with specialized technology to minimize its visibility and detectability by enemy radar and sensor systems.

Reduced Radar Cross-Section:
  • The hull and superstructure of the frigate are intricately designed to deflect and absorb radar waves.
  • This careful design lowers the ship’s radar cross-section, reducing the likelihood of radar signals reflecting back to enemy detection systems.
  • This contributes to the vessel’s reduced visibility on enemy radar screens.
Signature Management:
  • Stealth frigates are equipped with technologies to manage their electromagnetic emissions, including radar and communication systems.
  • These emissions are controlled to prevent easy detection by adversaries’ sensors and radar systems.
  • Infrared and Thermal Signature Reduction:
  • The design and materials of stealth frigates aim to minimize their infrared and thermal signatures.
  • This reduces their visibility to infrared and heat-seeking sensors used by adversaries.
Acoustic Signature Reduction:
  • Specialized sound-absorbing materials and techniques are employed to decrease the noise generated by the ship’s machinery and propulsion systems.
  • This makes it challenging for adversaries’ sonar systems to detect the frigate underwater.
Functional Applications:
  • Stealth frigates are utilized in naval operations such as anti-submarine warfare, anti-air warfare, maritime patrol, surveillance, and escort missions.
  • The incorporation of stealth technology enhances their survivability and operational effectiveness in modern naval warfare scenarios.
Importance in Naval Warfare:
  • The stealth features of frigates contribute to their ability to operate with reduced chances of detection and engagement.
  • In contemporary naval warfare, minimizing detection and engagement ranges is critical for tactical advantage and mission success.

Project 17A: Advancing India’s Naval Capabilities

  • Project 17 Alpha frigates (P-17A) were initiated by the Indian Navy in 2019.
  • They serve as an evolved version of the Project 17 (Shivalik Class) Frigates, boasting enhanced stealth attributes, advanced weaponry, sensors, and platform management systems.
Purpose and Execution:
  • Launched by India’s defense forces, Project 17A aims to construct a series of cutting-edge stealth guided-missile frigates.
  • These frigates are currently being built by two prominent shipbuilding companies: Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders (MDL) and Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE).
Construction Details:
  • The Project 17A initiative involves the construction of four ships by MDL and three ships by GRSE.
  • The construction of these ships commenced between 2019 and 2022, with the first five ships already launched.
  • Notable Launches:
  • The maiden vessel introduced under Project 17A was the Nilgiri, unveiled in 2019.
  • The second ship, Udaygiri, was launched in May 2022.
Indigenous Design and Self-Reliance:
  • Indian Navy’s Warship Design Bureau WDB is responsible for the in-house design of Project 17A ships.
  • Aligning with India’s commitment to self-reliance (Aatma Nirbharta), a significant 75% of equipment and system orders for Project 17A originate from indigenous firms, including Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
Significance:
  • Project 17A exemplifies India’s push to enhance its naval capabilities and bolster its maritime presence through technologically advanced and indigenous vessels.

Key Highlights of Project 17A Frigates:

The Vindhyagiri stealth frigate marks the sixth vessel rolled out as part of the Project 17A Frigate initiative.

Previous Launches:
  • Five other ships under this project – INS Nilgiri, Udaygiri, Himgiri, Taragiri, and Dunagiri – have been launched between the years 2019 and 2022.
Distinctive Features:
  • The vessels under P17A classification are classified as guided missile frigates.
  • They boast dimensions of 149 meters in length, a displacement of around 6,670 tonnes, and can attain a speed of 28 knots.
Multi-Dimensional Capabilities:
  • These frigates are equipped to effectively counter threats in all three dimensions: air, surface, and sub-surface.
Significance:
  • The Project 17A Frigates, exemplified by the Vindhyagiri, represent a significant advancement in India’s naval capabilities, enhancing its readiness to address various security challenges across different domains.

-Source: The Hindu


March 2024
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