Indian shipyard GRSE officially launches construction of 17A frigate for Indian Navy

According to information published by Indian Company Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) on December 14, 2020, GRSE has officially launched on December 14, 2020, the construction of its new Nilgiri-Class stealth frigate under Project 17A for the Indian navy. A total of seven ships will be built at Mazagon Dock and GRSE.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Artist rendering of new 17A or Nilgiri-class for Indian Navy. (Picture source GRSE)

The contract for the Project 17A or Nilgiri-class frigates for the Indian Navy was signed with two shipyards including Mazagon Dock and GRSE (Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers) in February 2015. Four of the frigates will be constructed by Mazagon Dock Ltd in Mumbai and three by GRSE in Kolkata. The steel cutting ceremony was held on 17 February 2017 which marked the commencement of construction. The first ship is expected to be commissioned by August 2022.

The 17A frigate will incorporate the latest stealth features. They will have a covered mooring deck and the number of antennae on the ship will be reduced by using EL/M-2248 MF-STAR AESA radar. The P17A will also feature better roll stabilization and a discreet visual profile.

The 17A frigate will be built using Indian-made developed steel and fitted with weapons and sensors along with an Integrated Platform Management System. Weapons of the whip will consist of BrahMos SSM, LRSAM (Forward & Aft configuration) with MF STAR radar, indigenous Sonar, and a two-Triple tube Heavy Torpedo launcher.

The 17A frigate will be powered by two MAN Diesel 12V28/33D STC (6000 kW each) engines and two General Electric LM2500 gas turbine to reach a top speed of 28 knots (52 km/h) with a cruising range of 2,500 nmi (4,600 km) at 28 kn (52 km/h) and 5,500 nmi (10,200 km) at 16–18 kn (30–33 km/h).

The 17A frigate will have a length of 149 m, a beam of 17.8 m, a draft of 5.22 m, and a depth of 9.9 m. The ship will have a displacement of 6,670 tones. She has a crew of 226 people.

The 17A frigate will be armed with 32 Barak 8 surface-to-air missiles, eight BrahMos anti-ship cruise missiles, one BAE 5 inch 62-caliber Mk 45 naval gun, two AK-630M 30mm rotary-gun CIWS Close-In Weapon Systems, two RBU-6000 ASW anti-submarine rocket launchers, and two Triple torpedo tube. She will be able to accommodate two HAL Dhruv or Sea King Mk. 42B helicopters.