On August 30, the keel for the first warship of the Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Craft (ASW SWC) (BY 523, Mahe) was laid at Cochin Shipyard Limited in Kerala’s Kochi, providing a significant boost to the government’s ambitious “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” and “Make-in-India” initiatives.
Speaking at the event, VAdm Kiran Deshmukh, Controller of Warship Production and Acquisition (CWP and A), Indian Navy, praised the shipbuilder’s efforts in reaching the milestone despite Covid-19 restrictions and ensuing lockdowns.
The Indian Navy official described it as a great accomplishment by the shipyard and said that keel laying is a crucial milestone activity in the shipbuilding process that prepares the way for the amalgamation of different building components into a completely finished ship.
In order to identify and eliminate undersea dangers, he further said that these platforms will conduct sub-surface monitoring in coastal areas.
Cochin Shipyard Limited CMD Madhu S Nair praised the Indian Navy for their unwavering support during the speech and reaffirmed the shipyard’s commitment to producing high-quality ships on schedule.
Cochin Shipyard and Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers are building the ships needed for the Indian Navy as part of the “Make in India” movement.
These ships can conduct search and rescue operations both during the day and at night in coastal locations, and they will replace the outdated Abhay-class corvettes. It can also plant mines on the ocean floor and shoot down intruding jets.
The government and the two warship manufacturers signed a contract in April 2014 to build 8-8 ASW-SWC ships costing USD 1.9 billion.
The Covid-19 epidemic makes it doubtful that the first vessel will be delivered to the Indian Navy by the planned date of October this year. By April 2026, the remaining ships must be delivered.
The 750-ton vessels will have high-performance stealth and signature technology installed, making them undetectable targets for adversary submarines and other surveillance systems.
The vessel will have an overall length of 78 metres, a width of 11.3 metres, and a maximum draught of 2.7 metres when fully loaded. There can be 57 people on board in total.
Additionally, the ships will be able to alert friendly anti-submarine warships and planes about the enemy’s submarine.
Torpedoes, rockets, and two 12.7mm stabilised remote control cannons with mine-laying rails and optronic control systems will be included in its arsenal.
Additionally, it will be equipped with a diesel-powered water jet propulsion system. At full load, it can travel at a maximum speed of 25 k, and at 14 k, it can cover 1,800 nm.