India has started the construction of the seventh Project 17A (P17A) frigate with a keel-laying ceremony at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders (MDL) in Mumbai.

The keel for the ship (Y- 12654) was laid by Indian Navy Naval Design (Surface Ship Group) director-general Rear Admiral GK Harish in the presence of senior officials of the Indian Navy and MDL.

The P17A involves building a total of seven frigates for the Indian Navy. Four of the vessels are being constructed at MDL and the remaining three at Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE), Kolkata.

The vessels are being built with indigenously developed steel and will be equipped with enhanced stealth features, different weapons and sensors along with Integrated Platform Management System.

The frigates are designed by the Directorate of Naval Design (Surface Ship Design Group) – DND (SSG).

In a statement, India’s Ministry of Defence said: “The construction of these vessels is a major boost for AatmaNirbhar Bharat and India’s Make in India commitment with orders for equipment and systems on indigenous firms including MSMEs amounting to indigenous content to the order of 75%.

“Construction of P17A ships differ in the very concept of warship building by way of adoption of the modern technology ‘Integrated Construction (IC)’ where the blocks are pre-outfitted before joining to reduce the build period of warships.

“When commissioned the platforms will enhance the combat capability of the Indian Naval fleet.”

Earlier this month, India announced the keel laying of the fourth Survey Vessel Large (SVL), and the second and third anti-submarine warfare shallow watercraft (ASW-SWC) ships.