Kolkata. 21 December 2021. Celebrating GoI’s flagship initiative of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ and continuing its march to achieve self-reliance in Warship building, Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd., (GRSE), a Mini Ratna Category 1 Defence PSU and leading warship building company of India laid the Keel of 5th of eight Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Crafts (ASWSWCs) today at GRSE Main Works Unit Kolkata. The design of these ships has been done completely in-house by GRSE.
The Chief Guest for the ceremony V.L Kantha Rao, IAS, Additional Secretary & Director General (Acquisition), Ministry of Defence graced the occasion through virtual mode. Vice Admiral Kiran Deshmukh, Controller of Warship Production & Acquisition and other senior officials from Naval Headquarters also participated in the virtual mode. Rear Admiral VK Saxena, IN(Retd.), Chairman & Managing Director, GRSE, Cmde Sanjeev Nayyar, IN(Retd), Director (Shipbuilding),GRSE, Cmde PR Hari, IN(Retd), Director (Personnel), GRSE, RK Dash, Director (Finance), GRSE& other senior officials of Indian Navy& GRSE were present at Main Works Unit Kolkata.
The keel laying ceremony marks a centuries old tradition heralding the start of a ship’s construction at site. As per GRSE’s custom, the keel laying of 5th ASWSWC was done by Shri Shyamal Kumar Sikdar, a senior operative of GRSE.
The 5thAnti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Craft is a part of eight such warships being built by GRSE,the order for which was bagged through a competitive bidding process. The primary role of shallow water craft is to conduct Anti-submarine operations in coastal waters, Low intensity maritime operations and Mine laying operations. The Craft is designed for a Deep Displacement of 750 Tons, Complement of 57 and capable of full scale Sub Surface Surveillance of Coastal Waters, Search Attack Unit (SAU) and Coordinated ASW operations with Aircraft. These Vessels are propelled by Water Jets capable of reaching maximum speed of 25 Knots and are compact and loaded with anti-submarine weapons (LightWeight Torpedoes, ASW rockets and Combat Management System).
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Guest V.L Kantha Rao, Additional Secretary & Director General (Acquisition) highlighted that the Acquisition Wing of the Ministry of Defence has formulated several measures to speed up the procurement in the Armed Forces. The DG(Acquisition) complimented GRSE on its performance in shipbuilding and highlighted the tremendous shipbuilding opportunities in immediate future for Indian shipbuilders. C&MD GRSE Rear Admiral VK Saxena, IN(Retd.), in his address, highlighted that GRSE has delivered 70 ships to the Indian Navy and 15 more are at various stages of construction by GRSE. The C&MD acknowledged the support of the Indian Navy and the Warship Overseeing Team at Kolkata towards the achievement of several milestones by GRSE. He complimented team GRSE for achieving today’s milestone within 15 days of launching the Survey Vessel Large and that too at the same building berth.
Apart from building eight ASWSWCs for the Indian Navy, the Shipyard is currently executing indigenous shipbuilding projects which include three Advanced Frigates under Project 17A, four Survey Vessels (Large) & one Fast Patrol Vessel for the Indian Coast Guard. With its core emphasis on exports, the shipyard is also building ships for the Republic of Guyana and a government agency of Bangladesh.