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India’s first indigenous stealth warship
Published on 29 Apr. 2010 11:00 PM IST
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India on Thursday commissioned its first indigenously-built stealth warship with sophisticated features to hoodwink enemy radars and gained entry into a top club of developed countries having such capability. Inducting ‘INS Shivalik’, the first of the three-ship Project-17 frigates, at the Mumbai-based Mazagon Docks (MDL), Defence Minister A K Antony called it a red letter day for the armed forces.
INS Shivalik, the first indigenous stealth frigate in the Indian Navy, the 143-metre-long warship, with 6,000-tonne displacement, has “versatile control systems with signature management and radar cross-section reduction features.” The other countries having the capability to build stealth warships are the US, the UK, Russia, France, China, Japan and Italy.
“It is a red letter day for the Navy, armed forces and ship building industry of India. We can consider ourselves as a really potent force and the Navy has to maintain eternal vigilance since we have a long coastline,” Antony said unveiling the new warship.
“We have to maintain high-level of operational readiness at all times. Only a professional Navy can meet all its challenges,” he said.
The Navy currently has a 130-warship-strong fleet which includes an aircraft carrier, 20 landing ships, eight destroyers, 12 frigates and 16 attack submarines based in four commands headquartered in Mumbai (Western Naval Command), Visakhapatnam (Eastern Naval Command), Kochi (Southern Naval Command) and Port Blair (Andaman and Nicobar Joint Command). Shivalik class warships can deal with multiple threat environment and are fitted with weapon suite comprising both area and point defence systems. It has sensors for air, surface and subsurface surveillance, electronic support and counter equipment and decoys for ‘soft kill measures’. Two more of the Shivalik class -- INS Sayahdri and INS Satpura -- would be ready for commissioning by November this year and middle of next year respectively.
“INS Shivalik has the latest stealth features to outsmart the enemy with low radar cross section, be it of the hull, infra-red or sound signatures,” according to Navy’s Director General for Naval Design Rear Admiral K N Vaidhyanathan.
“Shivalik is a steep jump in the indigenous design effort of the Directorate of Naval Design that has since 1954 designed 17 warships of different classes with 80 units built out of them. Currently, there are four designs from which 11 warships are under construction,” he said.
The frigate, built at Mumbai’s Mazagaon Dock Ltd (MDL) as part of the Indian Navy’s Project 17, is a 143-metre-long warship with 6,000-tonne displacement. It has numerous new design features to effectively reduce the probability of the warship being detected at sea.
The in-built structural, thermal and acoustic stealth features augment the potent capability of the ship to address threats in all dimensions of maritime warfare. Said MDL Chairman and Managing Director Vice Admiral (Retd) H.S. Malhi: “This ship is a testimony to the collaborative efforts of the MDL and the navy and in more ways than one, this project has raised the benchmarks in our indigenous warship design and shipbuilding efforts.”

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