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Historic Achievement: Simultaneous Launch of Two ASWSWC Warships for Indian Navy

Historic Achievement: Simultaneous Launch of Two ASWSWC Warships for Indian Navy

Kolkata (March 13, 2024): Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) Ltd reached yet another significant milestone by simultaneously launching two ASWSWC warships for the Indian Navy on Wednesday, March 13, 2024. It was certainly a treat for the eyes of those present as these two magnificent platforms touched water for the first time below their keels.

The ships were launched by Mrs Neeta Chaudhari, President Air Force Families Welfare Association (IFFWA) & wife of Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari, Chief of the Air Staff, Indian Air Force. Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari was chief guest at the occasion. 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, Shri 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.

After the ceremonial launch that involved applying of ‘Kumkum’ on both ships and breaking of coconuts, Mrs Chaudhari named them “INS Agray” and “INS Akshay”. These ships are actually reincarnations of Abhay-class warships of the Indian Navy. While the original INS Agray was decommissioned in 2017, INS Akshay was decommissioned in 2022.

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

The primary role of an ASW SWC is to conduct anti-submarine operations in coastal waters, Low Intensity Maritime Operations (LIMO) and mine laying operations. These 77.6-metre-long and 10.5-metre-wide extremely potent warships 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.

Cmde Hari spoke on how GRSE is committed towards the designing and building of advanced warships.

“A future ready shipyard, we are fully geared-up to meet expectations of the Navy & 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” he said.

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