The Indian Navy will officially commission the indigenously built Shivalik-class frigate INS Sahyadri (F49) on 21 July to boost its naval warfare capabilities.
It had placed an order for three frigates under an Rs10bn ($173.6m) Project 17 in 1999, but due to delays the production eventually began in 2000.
Launched in May 2005, the third and last of the Project-17 warships, INS Sahyadri is being built at Mazagon Docks Limited (MDL) and the commissioning marks the completion of the contract.
India also has plans to procure seven additional Shivalik-class warships under the follow-on Project-17A.
The navy is currently operating INS Shivalik and INS Satpura of the Shivalik-class for anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.
Powered by two Pielstick 16 PA6 STC diesel engines and two GE LM2500+ boost turbines in combined diesel or gas (CODOG) configuration, the Shivalik-class frigates are 142m-long and 17m wide.
The stealth frigates feature MR-760 Fregat M2EM 3-D air search radar, hull-mounted sonar array, four MR-90 Orekh radars, an ELTA EL/M 2238 surveillance and theatre alert radar.
Additional features of the frigates include two ELTA EL/M 2221 search-track-and-guidance radar, ATAS-Thales Sintra towed array systems, BEL Aparna fire control radar and BEL Ajanta electronic warfare suite to counter an enemy attack.
Capable of carrying two helicopters of the Dhruv, Sea King or Kamov varieties, the vessels are equipped with Otobreda gun, DTA-53-956 torpedo launchers, RBU-6000 rocket launchers, as well as Shtil surface-to-air missile system with 24 short-to-medium-range missiles.
The frigates are also integrated with Klub anti-ship cruise missiles, Indian BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles and Israeli Barak-I missile defence system.
Image: The Indian Navy's third Project 17 stealth frigate, Sahyadri, undergoing construction at Mazagon Docks in Mumbai. Photo: courtesy of Ajai Shukla.