Millennium Post

India commissions third stealth frigate

India commissions third stealth frigate
The country’s third stealth frigate was commissioned to the Indian Navy on Saturday. As the commissioning captain of the INS Sahyadri Sanjay Vatsyayan was reading the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma’s order, most in the audience could not have known an important fact.

The P-17 – project to which Shayadri belonged as the third and final frigate – had begun its journey on drawing sheets as random patterns in 1993 in a basement office of  a house at New Delhi’s Kailash Colony. 'Since there was a long gap after the work on the Delhi class of destroyers, it took a while to get the right softwares for designing the ship,' recounted Rear Admiral K N Vaidyanathan, director general of naval design.

In 1995, the design team received sanctions for modelling work. Over the decade as communication became easy, the design team, led by Vaidyanathan, began talking to various experts who could give crucial inputs. Teams also travelled across the globe to pick up on the latest technological innovations in areas like propeller design and propulsion systems. They even sought help from specific sources in friendly foreign countries.

At the beginning, stealth was just one of the many new features that were being planned. Reduction of infra-red signature, suppression of radar cross-section images, minimisation of underwater sounds were all added later to the list of ‘must haves.’ 'In fact when we showed our model’s RCS image, our collaborators were surprised at our ability to reduce it to such an extent. Our’s is rated one of the 10 best designs in the world now,' Vaidyanathan was not able to hide his pride while saying this.

Delhi class of destroyers were made of British steel. But for the P-17 Shivalik class, D40S steel from Russia was chosen. In fact, the country’s inability to provide the steel in time delayed the project by two years.

The ultra-modern Shivalik class of frigates, INS Shivalik, Satpura and Sahyadri are 'frontline blue water units, undertaking multiple and varied missions spanning the entire spectrum of conflict including war, and peace. With its formidable array of weapons and sensors, combined with the state of art technological features and long sea legs, the ship will be a versatile platform to protect our maritime interests,' the navy claims.
Pinaki Bhattacharya

Pinaki Bhattacharya

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