Mumbai : 1 September 2023
The Vice-President of India, Jagdeep Dhankhar along with his wife Dr. Sudesh Dhankhar, launched the warship ‘Mahendragiri’ built at M/s Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) in Mumbai today. ‘Mahendragiri’ is the seventh stealth frigate under Project 17A of the Indian Navy, and the fourth constructed by MDL. The ship was named by Dr Sudesh Dhankhar, wife of Vice President Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar who was the chief guest on the occasion. The ceremony was attended by the Governor of Maharashtra, Ramesh Bais, Chief Minister of Maharashtra Eknath Shinde, Deputy Chief Ministers of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R. Hari Kumar and Chairman and Managing Director, MDL, Sanjeev Singhal along with other senior officials from the Ministry of Defence, Indian Navy and employees of MDL.
Addressing the gathering on the occasion, the Vice President said, “Launch of Mahendragiri – the 7th Nilgiri-class stealth frigate, is a testament to the unwavering commitment and indomitable spirit of the Indian Navy. It is commendable that 75% of equipment and systems of the Nilgiri class frigates have been sourced from MSMEs. The launch of 7th warship of this class – Mahendragiri is an apt testament to the country’s resolute commitment to ‘Aatma Nirbharata’.”
Further elaborating on the importance of India’s naval strength, the Vice President stated, “India’s recent phenomenal economic rise and global ascendancy imperatively calls for a modern Navy to protect its maritime interests. A growing economy means higher volumes of trade. Over 90% of India’s trade by volume moves through maritime routes. This further underlines the importance of oceans to our growth and progress. With increased capability, comes enhanced responsibility. India has emerged as a net security provider in the Indo-Pacific region. Today, we are an important global player to secure and also ensure a peaceful, rules based maritime regime across the oceans. The security in the Indian Ocean Region, and the larger Indo-Pacific has diverse challenging aspects. The Indian Navy is ably discharging the mandate to protect, preserve and promote India’s maritime interests. I congratulate our force!”
During his visit, the Vice-President also visited ‘Dharohar’- the Heritage Museum of MDL.
Mahendragiri, named after a mountain peak in Eastern Ghats located in the state of Odisha, is the seventh ship of the Project 17A Frigates. These warships are follow-ons of the Project 17 Class Frigates (Shivalik Class), with improved stealth features, advanced weapons and sensors and platform management systems. The newly christened Mahendragiri is a technologically advanced warship and stands as a symbol of India’s determination to embrace its rich naval heritage, while propelling itself towards a future of indigenous defence capabilities.
Mahendragiri has been built using Integrated Construction methodology which involves hull blocks with parallel outfitting. The construction has been carried out at different geographical locations and integration/erection on Slipway at MDL. The keel of Mahendragiri was laid on 28 June 2022. The vessel has an approximate launch weight of 3450 tons.
Under the Project 17A program, a total of four ships by M/s MDL and three ships by M/s Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd are under construction. Project 17A ships have been designed in-house by Indian Navy’s Warship Design Bureau, the pioneer organisation for all warship design activities. The first six ships of the project have been launched so far by MDL and GRSE, between 2019-2023. Project-17A contributes to the prosperity of the country by developing the local ecosystem and supporting workforce/entrepreneurs/MSMEs across the economic spectrum. Approximately 210 MSMEs are engaged in this project and approximately 1000 subcontract workforce is working inside MDL premises for this project. Approximately 13 PSUs are contributing to this project in terms of supply of complex equipment and systems. Over 75% of the orders of Project 17A, have been placed on indigenous firms including MSMEs, keeping in line with Government of India’s vision of “Aatma Nirbhar Bharat”. The launch of Mahendragiri is an apt testament to the incredible progress our country has made in building a self-reliant naval force.
MM/ NJ/ PM