Historic Achievement: GRSE Simultaneously Launches Two ASW SWC Warships for Indian Navy

Indian Navy

Kolkata: Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) Ltd reached yet another significant milestone by simultaneously launching two ASW SWC warships for the Indian Navy on March 13, 2024.

The ships have been rechristened as Agray (5th) and Akshay (6th), named after erstwhile Abhay Class Corvettes Agray and Akshay of Indian Navy. While the original INS Agray was decommissioned in 2017, INS Akshay was decommissioned in 2022.

The launch ceremony was presided over by Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari, Chief of the Air staff. In keeping with maritime tradition and the ships were launched by Neeta Chaudhari, President AFFWA and wife of Air Chief.

Among the others present were Lt Gen R. C. Tiwari, Army Commander, Eastern Command, Cmde P R Hari, IN (Retd), Chairman and Managing Director, GRSE, RK Dash, Director (Finance), GRSE, Cdr S Bose, Director (Shipbuilding), GRSE, DIG Subrato Ghosh, ICG (Retd), Director (Personnel), GRSE & other senior officials of Indian Armed Forces, MoD & GRSE.

These two vessels were 5th and 6th in a series of 8 Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Crafts (ASW SWCs) being built by GRSE. The twin launches were significant as they came in less than four months after the launch of the 4th warship of this class, highlighting GRSE’s commitment towards delivering warships well within schedule to Indian maritime forces.

The contract for building eight ASW SWC ships was signed between Ministry of Defence and Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata on April 29, 2019. Arnala class of ships will replace the in-service Abhay class ASW Corvettes of Indian Navy and are designed to undertake anti-submarine operations in coastal waters, Low Intensity Maritime Operations (LIMO) and mine laying operations. These 77.6-metre-long and 105-metre-wide extremely potent warships with a displacement of 900 tons and endurance of over 1800 NM are also capable of full-scale sub-surface surveillance of coastal waters, various surface platforms and coordinated anti-submarine operations with aircraft.

The ASW SWCs are compact waterjet-propelled ships capable of reaching maximum speeds of 25 Knots. These ships pack a lethal anti-submarine suite comprising light weight torpedoes, ASW rockets and mines. They are also armed with 30 mm Close-in Weapon System (30 mm) and 12.7 mm Stabilised Remote-Control Guns. The platforms are fitted with a Hull Mounted Sonar and a Low-Frequency Variable Depth Sonar.

Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari lauded the efforts of GRSE towards meeting requirements of nation’s maritime forces.

“Having launched four out of eight Arnala class of ships, today’s launch of two more ships is another feather in the cap, not only of GRSE but of Indian Navy as well. These eight Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Watercrafts would replace the in-service Abhay class as mentioned by Cmde Hari, being fitted with state-of-the-art sensors, sonars, along with torpedoes and rocket launchers and they will significantly boost Indian Navy’s capabilities. I am confident that GRSE will continue to play a pivotal role in achieving self-reliance in the defence sector. Your quest for innovation and fostering a skilled workforce is commendable and paves the way for a stronger and self-sufficient India,” he said.

Detailing how GRSE is committed towards the designing and building of advanced warships, Cmde Hari said, “As a future ready shipyard, we are fully geared-up to meet expectations of the Navy and Coast Guard. A clear vision, world-class infrastructure, best HR talent available in the country and focused efforts for new technology adaption has propelled the shipyard on a path towards becoming a global leader in warship building.”

In the last one year, three (3) indigenously built warships/ submarine for Indian Navy have been delivered and a total of nine (9) warships were launched. The launch of two more ships of the project highlights the nation’s resolve towards ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ in shipbuilding.

The first ship of the project is planned to be delivered during the first half of 2024. The ASW SWC ships will have over 80% indigenous content, thereby ensuring that large scale defence production is executed by Indian manufacturing units, generating employment and capability enhancement within the country.