The INS Androth, second in a series of eight Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Craft (ASW SWC), was launched in Kolkata on Tuesday. Built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) in Kolkata, INS Androth is about 77.6 metres long and 10.5 metres wide, and requires a draught of only 2.7 metres.
Propelled by three diesel-driven water jets, these ships can attain a maximum speed of 25 knots. Their primary role is to conduct anti-submarine operations in coastal waters, low intensity maritime operations and mine laying operations.
“These ships are also capable of full-scale sub surface surveillance of coastal waters and various surface platforms and coordinated ASW operations with aircraft. These ships may be smaller in size but will pack a lethal punch,” GRSE said, in a press statement. These ships also carry lightweight torpedoes, ASW rockets and mines, a close-in weapon system (with a 30 mm gun) and 16.7 mm stabilised remote-controlled guns. The Androth and its fellow craft will be fitted with hull mounted sonar and a low frequency variable depth sonar.
Facing future challenges
“The construction of specialised ships such as these for Anti-Submarine Warfare is indeed in sync with the provisioning of a combat-ready credible cohesive and future proof force, which is ready to face the existing and future challenges in the maritime domain,” said Vice Admiral Dinesh K. Tripathi, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command, who was the chief guest at the launch ceremony. “I am happy to inform you, the ship to be launched today has made quick progress during construction notwithstanding the vicissitudes of shipbuilding as we all know,” he added.
Commodore P.R. Hari, a retired Indian Navy officer and the Chairman and Managing Director of GRSE, highlighted the long and fruitful relations that the shipyard has had with the Indian Navy over 63 years of coexistence, during which 70 warships were delivered to the Indian Navy, with 15 more under various stages of construction. “The sheer numbers reflected the strength of this partnership, with platforms ranging from boats to fast attack crafts, to survey vessels, to landing crafts to corvettes, to frigates, and now anti-submarine shallow water crafts, and advanced frigates,” he added.
The first ship of the series, the INS Arnala, was launched three months ago. INS Androth draws its name from the largest and longest island from Andrott Island, also known as Androth Island, in the Lakshadweep archipelago.