The ceremony, hosted by the Kolkata-based shipyard, concluded the introduction of the last of the three P17 Alpha series ships for the Navy.
The occasion saw the presence of key figures including Governor of West Bengal, C.V. Ananda Bose; Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee; Raksha Rajya Mantri, Ajay Bhatt; Former Captain of Indian Cricket Team Sourav Ganguly, among others from the military and government sectors.
The three Nilgiri Class frigates, built by GRSE at a cost of approximately Rs 19,200 crore, boast several modern features. Measuring 149 meters in length and displacing over 6670 tons, these ships come equipped with CODOG Propulsion systems—a type of engine mechanism allowing ships to efficiently alternate between high and low speeds—and a range of advanced weaponry and detection systems. These vessels build upon the legacy of the earlier Shivalik Class, marking a step up in naval technology.
Another distinctive feature of Project 17A is that construction is being carried out by GRSE simultaneously with MDL, based on the basic design created by the Directorate of Naval Design, Indian Navy. An intelligent PDM PLM system is also being implemented to manage the project and aid in its life cycle management.
The navy previously operated six ‘Nilgiri' Class frigates between 1972 and 2012. The original INS Vindhyagiri, the last of that series, has been reimagined as the contemporary P17A frigate.
During her address, President Murmu highlighted the ship's role in bolstering India's maritime capabilities. “This launch marks a move forward in enhancing India's maritime capability. Vindhyagiri is also a step towards achieving the goal of Atmanirbhar Bharat in shipbuilding,” she said.
Admiral Hari Kumar spoke about the navy's vision for self-reliance in shipbuilding and acknowledged GRSE's contributions over the years. “Vindhyagiri will be a versatile and powerful tool that supports the larger national vision as well as ensure safe secure and prosperous global commons for all,” Admiral Kumar said.
Starting as a workshop in 1884, GRSE has emerged as a premier Warship building company. With a record of delivering over 108 warships, including two for export to Mauritius and Seychelles. Presently, it is building 26 ships across 6 projects, of which 19 are warships being built for the Indian Navy and 16 of these 19 warships have been won on competitive bidding.