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Two new warships for Indian Navy launched for anti-submarine operations


'Agray' (in pic) and 'Akshay', the 5th and 6th ships of 08 x ASW Shallow Water Craft (SWC) Project being built by M/S GRSE for Indian Navy, were launched on 13 Mar 24 at M/S GRSE, Kolkata. Photo: Indian Navy, Twitter (X).

KOLKATA (PTI): Two new warships built for the Indian Navy to augment anti-submarine operations in coastal waters and low-intensity maritime operations were launched here on Wednesday.

The two anti-submarine warfare shallow water craft (ASW SWC) built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE) were launched by Neeta Chaudhari, wife of Chief of Air Staff of Indian Air Force, Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari.

She named the ships INS Agray and INS Akshay.

The primary role of an ASW SWC is to conduct anti-submarine operations in coastal waters, low-intensity maritime operations and mine-laying operations, a GRSE official said.

Speaking at the launch, chief guest Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari said "It is a matter of immense pride that India is among select countries in the world with a capacity to build modern warships, submarines and aircraft carriers".

Stating that sea lanes of communication are an important contributor to world trade and prosperity, Chaudhari said that the recent events, particularly in the Red Sea, have highlighted the threats in the maritime environment.

"A large number of Indian naval ships are patrolling the high seas and rendering assistance to safeguard the seafarers and merchant vessels of different nationalities", he said.

Chaudhari said that the Navy is inducting a large number of different types of ships from the indigenous shipbuilding industries.

He said that the advanced ASW SWC launched on Wednesday has over 80 per cent indigenous content with majority of the equipment and systems sourced from homegrown manufacturers.

GRSE chairman and managing director Commodore P R Hari (Retd) said that the Kolkata-based warship builder has so far delivered 71 warships to the Indian Navy so far.

Hari said that the GRSE was at present executing four projects for the Navy comprising 18 warships.

"We are aspiring to be a global leader in warship building," he said, maintaining that GRSE has the best human resources available in the country, world-class infrastructure and facilities.

The GRSE chief said that the Defence PSU needs more orders from the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard, specially for weapons-intensive platforms to retain the vibrancy that he maintained exists at all its facilities.

The ships launched on Wednesday are the fifth and sixth in a series of eight ASW SWC being built by the GRSE for the Navy, with four ships of the same class having been launched already.

These 77.6 metre-long and 10.5 metre-wide warships are capable of reaching maximum speeds of 25 knots, the GRSE official said.

These ships pack a lethal anti-submarine armament comprising lightweight torpedoes, ASW rockets and mines and guns, he said.

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