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).
GS III: Science and Technology
Dimensions of the Article:
- Stealth Frigates: Cutting-Edge Naval Warfare Vessels
- Project 17A: Advancing India’s Naval Capabilities
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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).
- 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.
- Five other ships under this project – INS Nilgiri, Udaygiri, Himgiri, Taragiri, and Dunagiri – have been launched between the years 2019 and 2022.
- 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.
- These frigates are equipped to effectively counter threats in all three dimensions: air, surface, and sub-surface.
- 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