INS Satpura, the second indigenously-built stealth warship, was launched at the Mazgaon Docks today.
Looking resplendent in her colourful buntings, the 143 metre long and 16.9 m wide P-17 class frigate slipped into the warm waters of the Arabian Sea amidst the strains of `Saare Jahan Se Acha....' after Harveen Krishnaswamy,wife of Air Chief Marshal S Krishnaswamy, chief of Air Staff, pressed the trigger.
Shivalik, the first ship of this class, was launched in April last year.
The Satpura, which was built two months ahead of its schedule, is expected to be commissioned by September 2007. It will be fitted with latest surface-to-surface vertical launched missiles, surface-to-air missiles and state of the art radar and communication equipment, according to the Chief of Naval staff, Admiral Madhvendra Singh.
"They will be powered by gas turbines and diesel engines to move at the speed above 30 knots and will operate two large helicopters for surveillance and anti-submarine operations," he said. "Though the P-17 ships were smaller in size than the Delhi class destroyers, they would have more deadly and potent weapons."
Singh said the ship, named after the Satpura ranges, was expected to guard Indian waters like "silent sentinels."
The estimated cost of the ship was Rs 1000 crore. Building the ship indegenously had radically cut down expenditure, generated employment and boosted small industries, he said. Describing the naval dockyard as the right arm of the Navy, Singh applauded the dockyard for delivering the warship ahead of schedule.
The keel of the third P-17 frigate would be laid next year, Singh added.
Rear Admiral R M Bhatia, Chairman and Managing Director of Mazgaon Dock, said Satpura had a displacement of 4900 tons. The ship will have third generation communication systems, digitized versatile control systems, incorporating ATM based integrated ship borne data network with fibre optic capable network.
Bhatia said the P-17 frigates represent a major landmark in showcasing the indigenous warship design and manufacturing capability resulting from the cooperation between Mazgaon Docks and the design organisation of the Navy.
The new facilities at the docks would help it to move away from traditional shipbuilding techniques and graduate to modular construction technology at par with international standards, he added.