On the 1st of September 2023, India’s new frigate Mahendragiri will be launched from Mazagon Dock in Mumbai, the Ministry of Defence said. According to a statement issued by the Vice President’s Secretariat on Wednesday (30 August), Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar along with his wife Sudesh will visit Mumbai on the 1st of September. Vice President is said to be the chief guest at the launch ceremony of the new warship.
Mahendragiri, the last of Project 17A Frigates – designed by #IndianNavy’s Warship Design Bureau – will be launched by Dr (Smt) Sudesh Dhankhar, wife of @VPIndia, Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar, at M/s @MazagonDockLtd, Mumbai on 01 Sep 23.#AatmaNirbharBharathttps://t.co/kWbH3LBEiy pic.twitter.com/ICv4ibYqgb
— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) August 30, 2023
In its official press release in PIB, the Ministry noted that Mahendragiri is the seventh and last ship under Project 17A Frigates. These warships have improved stealth features, advanced weapons, and sensors along with platform management systems. The official statement highlights that these warships are an evolution from the Project 17 Class Frigates popularly known as Shivalik Class.
Notably, these new frigates are named after a mountain peak, Mahendragiri that is located in the Eastern Ghats in the state of Orissa. These are technologically advanced warships and are a symbol of India’s determination to embrace its rich naval heritage, the statement added. With these advanced warships, the Indian navy is propelling itself toward a future of indigenous defense capabilities.
Earlier, on the 17th of August, President Droupadi Murmu launched Vindhyagiri at GRSE. It was the sixth warship to be launched under Project 17A. Between, 2019-2023, the other six ships of Project 17A have been launched so far by MDL & GRSE.
It is pertinent to note that Project 17A was rolled out in 2019 to construct a series of stealth guided-missile frigates. In 2019, the first stealth ship launched under this program was the Nilgiri frigate. Project 17A is a follow-up of the Project 17 Class Frigates (Shivalik Class), with improved stealth features, advanced weapons and sensors and platform management systems.
It is important to note that a warship’s launch is a significant milestone in its construction. This is when the ship goes into the water for the first time. The Project 17A warships are currently in different stages of construction and are expected to be delivered to the navy during 2024-26. Overall, four warships by Mazagoan Dock Private Limited while three ships by M/s GRSE are under construction, under the Project 17A program.
The Ministry has also highlighted that this is a significant achievement for building a self-reliant naval force as Project 17A ships have been designed in-house by the Indian Navy’s Warship Design Bureau. It is considered the pioneer organisation for all warship design activities.
In line with the ‘Aatma Nirbharata’ initiative, a substantial 75% of the orders for equipment and systems under Project 17A ships have been ordered from indigenous firms, including Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
Lauding the achievement, the Ministry said, “The launch of Mahendragiri is an apt testament to the incredible progress our Nation has made in building a self-reliant naval force.”