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First Look: Indian Navy's new ship

Satpura, the indigenously-built stealth warship, was launched on Friday, June 4, at Mazgaon Docks in Mumbai.

The 143-metre long, 16.9-metre wide P-17 frigate, slipped into the Arabian Sea accompanied by strains of Saare Jahan Se Accha..

Harveen Krishnaswamy, wife of the air chief, Air Chief Marshal S Krishnaswamy, launched the ship.

The frigate was built two months ahead of schedule and is expected to be commissioned by September 2007. It will be fitted with the latest surface-to-surface vertical launch missiles, surface-to-air missiles and state of the art radar and communication equipment.

The ship will also have third generation communication systems, digitized versatile control systems, incorporating ATM-based integrated ship borne data network with a fibre optic capable network.

This is the second stealth frigate designed by the Indian Navy and indigenously built by Mazagon Docks Ltd, part of what the navy calls Project 17.

Shivalik, the first ship in its class, was launched in April 2003.

According to naval chief Admiral Madhavendra Singh, the frigate was built at a cost of Rs 10 billion (Rs 1,000 crore). The admiral, who retires this month, added that building the ship in India radically cut down external expenditure and generated employment.

Also see: First Look: A Leftist for the right post

Photograph: SEBASTIAN D'SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images

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