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Indian Navy to commission INS Shivalik on Apr 29

INS Shivalik, the first of the 3-ship Project-17 frigates during sea trials.

NEW DELHI (PTI): India is all set to commission its latest indigenous stealth warship of the Shivalik class, with features to hoodwink enemy radars, on April 29.

Defence Minister A K Antony will induct INS Shivalik, the first of the 3-ship Project-17 frigates, at the Mumbai-based Mazagon Docks (MDL) to provide the fleet more teeth.

"INS Shivalik, which will be commissioned on April 29 by Defence Minister A K Antony at MDL, will have the latest stealth features to outsmart the enemy with low radar cross section, be it of the hull, infra-red or sound signatures," Navy's Director General for Naval Design Rear Admiral K N Vaidhyanathan told reporters here Wednesday.

Two more of the Shivalik class, named INS Sayahdri and INS Satpura, would be ready for commissioning by November this year and middle of next year.

"Shivalik class warships can deal with multiple threat environment, fitted with weapon suite comprising both area and point defence systems; sensors for air, surface and subsurface surveillance and tracking; medium range and close-in gunnery, electronic support and counter measures; and decoys for soft kill measures," Vaidhyanathan said.

The 143-metre-long warship, with 6,000-tonne displacement, has a versatile control system and external control system with signature management and radar cross section reduction features.

"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 class with 80 units built out of them. Currently, there are four designs from which 11 warships are under construction," he said.

"The warship of this class incorporates several new design features giving it enhanced operational capabilities in terms of survivability, stealth, sea keeping, ship handling and weapons," he added.

Vaidhyanathan said there had been a lull in the design efforts of his Directorate after the designing of the Delhi Class Destroyers in the mid-1980s, but Shivalik Class had rejuvenated his department's design skills.

The ship is powered by Combined Diesel or Gas Turbine (CODOG) propulsion system consisting of one each of US-origin LM-2500 gas turbine engine and SEMT Pielstick diesel engine on each shaft driving a large diameter controllable pitch propeller.

Shivalik would also be the first warship of the Indian Navy to provide for separate living rooms for women crew as and when the Defence Ministry decides to send them on board warships to the sea.

The Rear Admiral said the government had in principle given approval for a follow-on project for the Shivalik class, codenamed Project 17A, under which another seven frigates would be built.

"The orders for the construction are awaited for Project 17A. But the design phase is almost over. The Project 17A ships would use the same hull as Project 17, but would have a better design and additional weapon systems when compared to the Shivalik Class and would be built for the first time under modular construction technology currently adopted by global shipyards," he added.

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