Kolkata: Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE) touched a key milestone in its Project 17A with the laying of the keel of its second of three Advanced Stealth Frigates on January 24.
The keel was laid at GRSE’s Main Works Unit by D Santra, Structural Fitter (Sk-II) of Shipbuilding Shop in the august presence of Vice Admiral G Ashok Kumar, AVSM, VSM, Vice Chief of Naval Staff. The occasion was graced by Rear Admiral VK Saxena, IN (Retd), Chairman & Managing Director, GRSE; SS Dogra, Director (Finance), Cmde Sanjeev Nayyar, IN (Retd), Director (Shipbuilding) and Cmde PR Hari, Director (Personnel) and other senior officers of the Indian Navy led by Rear Admiral G K Harish, VSM, Director General (Naval Design) and GRSE.
The prestigious contract of Rs 19,294 crore for construction of three highly Advanced Stealth Frigates under Project 17A is the largest ever order won by the company. This contract was signed between the Ministry of Defence and GRSE on February 20, 2015. The first ship is expected to be delivered in 2023 and the next two ships in 2024 and 2025 respectively. Today’s Keel Laying marked another project milestone being achieved ahead of schedule by GRSE.
P17A Frigates are state-of-the-art Guided Missile Frigates. Each of these ships are 149 m long, with displacement of approximately 6670 T and a speed of 28 knots. P17A Stealth Frigates are being built deploying the latest Integrated Construction Methodology with enhanced pre-outfitting to enhance quality and reduce build periods considerably. GRSE has appointed M/s Fincantieri, Italy as the Knowhow Provider for Technology Upgrade and Capability Enhancement.
In his welcome address, Rear Admiral Saxena acknowledged Indian Navy’s confidence in GRSE for awarding this prestigious project. He also stated that “New initiatives are being undertaken in shipbuilding at GRSE to gear up to meet future challenges and deliver quality ships on time”. The Chairman brought out that the Shipyard has the capacity to build 20 ships concurrently, and is enhancing capacity to build 24 warships concurrently over the next few years.
The Vice Chief of Naval Staff (VCNS) in his address commended GRSE for its commitment in providing support to the ships built by GRSE & stated that “GRSE can be proud of its achievements as it continues to build complex ships under stringent timelines”. The VCNS also stated that Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard are on a growth path which bodes well for the shipyard’s future wherein quality ships are expected on time.
GRSE currently has a strong order book position of around Rs 27,400 crore under which there are a total of 19 warships are at various stages of construction under six projects that are underway viz, five projects of the Indian Navy and one of the Indian Coast Guard. GRSE have delivered five warships to Indian Navy in last 10 months (March 2019–December 2019). The shipyard has been recently awarded with the ICC PSE Excellence Award (2017-18) for “Operational Performance Excellence” and 16th National Award for “Excellence in Cost Management” in the category of Medium Public Sector Manufacturing Companies.
The DPSU is aggressively bidding for the new Request for Proposals (RfPs) that have been issued by Ministry of Defence. Continuing Research & Innovation, excellent product quality, world class modern infrastructure, and a strong corporate structure coupled with a competent and experienced Human Capital including around 100 In-House Design Engineers, promise a bright future for GRSE. The company is showcasing its shipbuilding capabilities at DefExpo 2020 at Lucknow.
GRSE continues to sail on a growth trajectory with increased thrust on export of warships, incorporation of latest technologies (Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Analytics) in various areas of operations to improve internal operating efficiencies & profit margins.