New Delhi: The Navy is all set to induct by March the Shivalik Class frigates to boost its surface fleet and the warship will be the highlight of the tableau for the Republic Day Parade, apart from the year-long anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.
“The tableau depicts Shivalik Class of ship to be inducted in the Navy by March this year. INS Shivalik is the first of the three multi-role Project 17 class of stealth frigates of the Navy built by Mumbai-based Mazagaon Docks Limited,” Navy’s principal director (Personnel Services) commodore Sunil Jetly said at New Delhi.
Shivalik class, designed by the Navy, would be India’s mainstay frigates in the first half of this century, with structural, thermal and acoustic stealth features to augment its potent capability.
The ship would have an indigenous combat management system to operate the sensors and weapons including ‘Club´ long-range surface-to-surface missiles, ‘Shtil´ and ‘Barak’ air defence missiles, apart from Oto Melara and AK-630 guns.
“With its ability to detect and engage surface, air and sub-surface targets at extended ranges, the ship is a virtual ‘Brahma Astra’ when unleashed,” Jetly said.
Normally powered by two Pielstick diesel engines for long voyages, the ship can do over 30 knots speed when the two LM25000 Gas Turbines from US are brought into action.
The ship is also equipped with defence systems against nuclear, biological and chemical attacks. It will be manned by a 250-member crew including 35 officers.
The tableau would also showcase Indian warship’s anti-piracy efforts off Somali coast, where it was first deployed in October 2008.
“A total of 13 navy warships have been deployed in the Gulf of Aden since October 2008 and each deployment has been for about 35 to 40 days. It has escorted 800 of both Indian merchant vessels and others flying foreign flags,” Jetly said.
During the deployment, the warships prevented 15 piracy attempts and also sunk a ‘mother ship´ of the pirates in November 2008.