IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

Frigate Vindhyagiri

16th August, 2023 Security

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  • President Droupadi Murmu will launch the Vindhyagiri frigate, at Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited, Kolkata, the Indian Navy said.


  • Named after the mountain range in Karnataka, Vindhyagiri is the sixth ship of the Project 17A programme.
  • Vindhyagiri, a technologically advanced frigate, pays tribute to its predecessor, the erstwhile INS Vindhyagiri.
  • The old Vindhyagiri in its nearly 31 years of service from July 1981 to Jun 2012, had witnessed various challenging operations and multinational exercises.
  • The newly christened Vindhyagiri stands as a symbol of India's determination to embrace its rich naval heritage while propelling itself toward a future of indigenous defence capabilities.
  • The launch o fVindhyagiriis an apt testament to the incredible progress our Nation has made in building a self-reliant naval force.

What is Project 17A of the Indian Navy?

  • Project 17 Alpha frigates (P-17A) were launched by the Indian Navy in 2019.
  • The project was launched by the defence forces of India to construct a series of stealth guided-missile frigates, which are currently being constructed by two companies - Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders (MDL) and Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE).
  • These guided-missile frigates have been constructed with a specific stealth design, which has radar-absorbent coatings and is low-observable which can make its approach undetectable for the enemies. The new technology also reduces the infrared signals of the ship.
  • Under the P17A program, a total of seven ships, with four at MDL and three at GRSE are under construction.
  • The ships have been named INS Nilgiri, INS Himgiri, INS Udaygiri, INS Dunagiri, INS Taragiri, INS Vindhyagiri and INS Mahendragiri after the names of hill ranges in India.
  • Five P17A Project ships have been launched so far between 2019 and 2022. These were 'Nilgiri', 'Himgiri', 'Udaygiri','Dunagiri' and Taragiri and the sixth frigate is 'Vindhyagiri'.
  • The first stealth ship launched under Project 17A was the Nilgiri, which was launched in 2019.
  • Project 17A ships have been designed in-house by Indian Navy’s Warship Design Bureau, the pioneer organisation for all warship design activities.
  • Aligning with the country's resolute commitment to 'AatmaNirbharta', a substantial 75 percent of the orders for equipment and systems of Project 17A ships are from indigenous firms, including Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
  • The project will generate employment opportunities for more than 2,000 companies and MSMEs in the country.


  • A frigate is a type of warship.
  • A frigate is a fairly small ship owned by the navy that can move at fast speeds.
  • Frigates are often used to protect other ships.
  • Frigates are larger than Corvettes but smaller than Destroyers.
  • Frigates are anywhere between 3000 to 5000 tons.


  • They’re built to be agile and fast, capable of operating independently but also as part of an overall fleet.
  • Frigates are usually equipped with different weapons, including guns, torpedoes, missiles, and anti-aircraft systems.
  • Armed with superb anti-air and ASW systems, they are specialized for fleet defense from air attacks and submarines.
  • Frigates also have advanced sensors and communications technology, which allow them to locate the presence of enemy ships and aircraft at long distances. They are typically employed for reconnaissance, surveillance, transporting convoys, and offering protection for larger vessels.
  • Thus, these are used for patrol missions and to escort larger ships.
  • Alongside their weapons and sensors, frigates also have diverse support systems, such as repair shops, medical facilities, and storage areas for food and other supplies. This lets frigates operate on their own for a prolonged time without replenishing from shore.
  • Frigates are employed in maritime security operations, for example, anti-piracy patrols and counter-narcotics missions. Their agility and speed are ideal for chasing smaller vessels, which are more agile, and their weapon systems and sensors enable them to track and detect illicit activity on the sea.
  • Additionally, frigates are utilized for humanitarian operations like disaster relief and search and rescue missions. The ability of frigates to operate on their own for long periods and their medical facilities and other support systems make frigates valuable assets in natural disasters or other emergencies.

Frigate Vs. Destroyer Vs. Cruiser Vs. Corvette

  1. Frigate: A small, swift, and maneuverable warship mostly used for escorting tasks in anti-submarine warfare.
  2. Destroyer is a fast and powerfully armored warship designed to provide anti-aircraft and anti-submarine defense to larger vessels in the fleet. A warship with a medium size specifically designed for long-range and autonomous operations, is usually employed for surveillance, patrol, and escort duties.
  3. Corvette: A small, lighter-armed warship designed to perform coast defense and escort functions usually used in anti-submarine warfare and maritime interdiction.


Q. Consider the following statements:

1.    Vindhyagiri is the sixth ship of the Project 15A.

2.    100 percent of the orders for equipment and systems of Vindhyagiri ship are from indigenous firms.

3.    Vindhyagiri ship has been designed in-house by Indian Navy’s Warship Design Bureau.

How many of the above are correctly matched?

A) Only 1

B) Only 2

C) All 3

D) None

Answer: A) Only 1