India’s Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE) has laid the keel for the Indian Navy’s two anti-submarine warfare shallow watercraft (ASW SWC).

This was confirmed by the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) on 31 December 2022.

Theformal keel-laying ceremony was held at the company’s shipyard in Kolkata in presence of various dignitaries and officials from the Indian MoD and Navy.

The event was also attended by GRSE representatives, including its chairman and managing director (CMD) and Indian Navy’s former commodore PR Hari.

The keel for the two new water craft, Yard 3033 and Yard 3036, was laid by India’s defence secretary Giridhar Aramane.

Aramane said: “Laying of keel for these two ships reinforces our resolve towards completely indigenous shipbuilding as part of Prime Minister’s vision of ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’.

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“The ASW SWC ships will have over 80% indigenous content, ensuring that large scale defence production is executed by Indian manufacturing units thereby generating employment and capability build up within the country.”

In 2019, MoD contracted two Indian shipbuilding companies to construct a total of 16 ASW SWC ships for the navy to replace the Abhay-class ships.  

Under this contract, GRSE is building eight ASW SWC vessels, while other eight ASW SWC ships are being constructed by Cochin Shipyard (CSL).

Together, all the eight vessels will boost the Indian Navy’s anti-submarine warfare capabilities.

Keel for the first ASW SWC vessel being built by GRSE was laid in August 2021. Later in June 2022, the company simultaneously laid keel for the second and third ASW SWC vessels.

The Indian MoD announced the launch of Navy’s first ASW SWC ship, named ‘Arnala’, by GRSE on 21 December 2022.