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Keel laid for the third stealth frigate of Project 17A

12th September, 2020 Security

Context: Vice Admiral of the Indian Navy laid the keel of the third ship (Yard- 12653) of the prestigious P17A class stealth.

About: Seven frigates under P17A series will be constructed of which four are being constructed in Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) and three in Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd. (GRSE) with MDL as the lead yard.

  • The P17A class frigates are being built using indigenously developed steel and fitted with weapons and sensors along with Integrated Platform Management System.
  • These ships are having stealth features.
  • Construction of P17A ships differ in the very concept of warship building by way of adoption of the modern technology ‘Integrated Construction (IC)’ where the blocks are pre-outfitted before joining to reduce the build period of warships. When commissioned the platforms will enhance the combat capability of the Indian Naval fleet.

P-17 A

  • “The P17A is the follow-on of earlier P-17 Shivalik class ‘first indigenously’ constructed stealth warships which are already in operations with Indian Navy”.
  • In all, seven ships of P-17 A with advanced stealth capability has been ordered by the Indian Navy, with the ship, construction to take place at MDL (for four) and GRSE, Kolkata (for three).

Weapon Systems onboard

  • The ships are expected to have a mix of Weapon systems which have been sourced from Russia, Israel and some have been locally manufactured in India.
  • The main weapon and sensor suite of P-17A ships indicated are BrahMos SSM, LRSAM (Forward & Aft configuration) with MF STAR radar, indigenous Sonar, and Triple tube Heavy Torpedo launcher.

What is the stealth feature onboard these ships?

  • The main advanced stealth features of P-17A pertain to smaller Radar cross-section of the ship achieved through the use of special super structure shape which reduces radar wave reflections.
  • Another important feature is regarding the ship’s low acoustic noise emanating from propellers, operating machinery like Diesel Generators etc., which helps sonars on other ships to detect its presence. Such stealth features play an important role in improving ship’s survivability in any hostile environment during operations.

What is Radar MFSTAR?

  • “The Radar MFSTAR (for Multi-Function Surveillance Track and missile guidance Radar) Frigate version shall bring in long-distance target detection and tracking ability for both, Air and Surface targets.
  • The MFSTAR is also capable to undertake Target Designation of hostile targets for timely weapon engagement and achieve optimal utilization of Fleet resources.
  • This unique MFSTAR feature makes an anti-missile countermeasure (as part of self-defense tactics) highly effective, especially against the sea-skimming missile threat to the Ship,”

CIWS (Close-in Weapon System)

  • It is highly reliable Gun mount AK- 630s.
  • Additionally, the Electronic Warfare systems on such advanced ships are very much integrated with the ship’s Combat functions and, thereby, makes P-17A ships not only difficult to detect due to hull structure form, but also capable to launch a pre-emptive countermeasures against any kind of threat, be it Air, Surface or Sub-surface, even before the hostile target launches its attack.
  • The Combat Management System (CMS-17A) with advanced Data Link makes P-17A ships a valuable Fleet level asset.
  • With its own hi-tech weaponry arsenal and advanced sensor capabilities, each of the P-17A ship shall also be designed for carrying out the primary duties of a Flag Ship.