Indian Defense PSU Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) has won $3.1 billion (INR 20,000 crore) order to build three advanced stealth frigates for the country’s navy.
"This is the highest-ever order which GRSE has got. This shows how much trust the government and the Navy has on us. It is a big shot in the arm for us," GRSE's Chairman and Managing Director Rear Admiral A K Verma told reporters Wednesday.
Under project P-17A, Mazagon Dock Ltd (MDL), Mumbai, will make four stealth frigates while the Kolkata shipyard will make three such frigates, all of which will be of the same design.
"Frigates are one-man army which can attack under water, surface level and also at air. It can also carry helicopters and has detection abilities as well. It will become the most potent weapon of the Indian Navy," Verma said.
Once the final design is ready, the construction at GRSE will begin after three years and the first ship will be ready by 2023.
"The rest will come at one-year intervals and within ten years all the ships would be ready. We would be working in close collaboration with both the Navy as well as MDL," the official said.
Commodore Ratnakar Ghosh, Director (shipbuilding), GRSE, said they are building a new modernised integrated modular construction unit which would be used for manufacturing the frigates.
"It is because of the modular construction that we can bring down the time of construction to five years. Traditional shipbuilding method takes much more time," he said.
GRSE already has Goliath cranes and workshops with sliding roofs from where 200-tonne blocks can be lifted out.