The first of the three ships in a series of eight Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) shallow water crafts being built by the Cochin Shipyard for the Indian Navy were launched concurrently at the shipyard premises on November 30 (Thursday) morning.
The ships that would be named INS Mahe, INS Malvan and INS Mangrol upon commissioning into the Navy were launched in the presence of Vice Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Sanjay J. Singh; Commander in Chief of Strategic Forces Command Vice Admiral Suraj Berry and Commandant of Indian Naval Academy Vice Admiral Puneet Bahl, by their spouses Anjali Bahl, Kangana Berry and Zarine Lord Singh.
The shipyard inked the contract with the Ministry of Defence to build a total of eight ASW vessels in 2019. These Mahe class of ships will replace the Navy’s in-service Abhay class ASW corvettes and are designed for anti-submarine operations in the coastal waters, low-intensity maritime, mine laying and sub-surface surveillance operations. They are also capable of coordinated ASW operations with aircraft, and search and rescue.
They are equipped with light-weight torpedoes, ASW rockets and mines, close-in weapon system (30 mm gun) and 12.7 mm stabilised remote control guns.
Each of these vessels is 78 m long, 11.36 m wide, has a draught of 2.7 m, displacement of 896 tonnes and can attain speeds of up to 25 knots (approximately 45 kmph). Their endurance is 1,800 nautical miles and have been designed to fit indigenously-developed sonars for underwater surveillance. Each vessel would carry 57 personnel, including seven naval officers. They were built as per integrated hull outfit and painting construction method followed at the yard and as per naval requirements, official sources said.
Emphasis on self-reliance
Speaking on the occasion, Vice Admiral Sanjay J. Singh said that a vibrant ship-building system is in place in India, thanks to efforts at indigenisation and self-reliance. This is proof of the country’s increasing naval prowess.
In his address, the CMD of the shipyard Madhu S. Nair said that the launch of the three warships comes close on the heels of the indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant that was built at the same yard. They were delivered within the specified price limit despite challenges in the form of the pandemic, forex variations and the war in Ukraine.