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Navy to name 7th frigate in P17A series as 'Mahendragiri'

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A file photo.

NEW DELHI (PTI): The Navy has planned to name the seventh ship in the P17A frigate series as 'Mahendragiri', senior officials said.

The first of the seven frigates, christened 'Nilgiri', is slated to be launched in Mumbai on September 28 in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

The first ship under P17A borrows its name from an old frigate of the Navy, INS Nilgiri that was named after Nilgiri Hills.

Five more ships of the Nilgiri-class, an upgrade of Leander-class, were also named after other hill ranges of India. The six ships were built a few decades ago and have been decommissioned.

These six ships were called -- 'Nilgiri', 'Himgiri', 'Udaygiri', 'Dunagiri, 'Taragiri' and 'Vindhyagiri'.

"The first P17A frigate 'Nilgiri' will be launched on September 28. Since, it is named after the previous frigate which was part of a series of six ships, so the remaining names will also follow till the sixth ship," said Vice Admiral G Ashok Kumar, the vice chief of the Navy.

"For the seventh frigate, we have identified one more in the series -- 'Mahendragiri'," he said.

He said this recently during an interactive session held here ahead of the commissioning of Navy's second Scorpene-class submarine INS Khanderi.

The commissioning of 'Khanderi', launch of 'Nilgiri' and inauguration of an aircraft carrier drydock are all scheduled to take place on September 28 in Mumbai.

The first Scorpene in a series of six, 'Kalvari' is named after the first Kalvari of the Navy.

The first Kalvari, commissioned on December 8, 1967, was also the first submarine of the Indian Navy. It was decommissioned on May 31, 1996 after nearly three decades of service.

The Kalvari-class submarines in the past were a variant of Foxtrot-class submarines, four of which had served in the Navy from late 1960s onwards -- 'Kalvari', 'Khanderi', 'Karanj' and 'Kursura'.

"Names have a historical background, and many ships have been follow-on of some other ships in the past. So, the name is being repeated," Kumar said.

A contract with French company Naval Group (earlier called DCNS) was signed in 2005 for the supply of six submarines.

The six submarines, designed by the French naval defence and energy company, are being built by Mazagon Dock Ltd in Mumbai as part of Project-75 of the Indian Navy.

The state-of-the-art features of this Kalvari-class Scorpene submarine include superior stealth and the ability to launch attacks on the enemy using precision guided weapon.

Second Scorpene-class submarine 'Khanderi' continues the name of the previous submarine.

'Khanderi' was commissioned into the Navy on December 6, 1968 and decommissioned on October 18, 1989 after more than 20 years of service.

The remaining submarines in the series are called -- 'Karanj', 'Vela', 'Vagir' and 'Vagsheer'.

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