Celebrating ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’, Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd., (GRSE), has laid the keel of a fifth of eight Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Crafts (ASWSWCs) today at GRSE main works unit Kolkata.
The GRSE officials said the fifth ASWSWC is a part of eight such warships being built by GRSE and the order for which was bagged through a competitive bidding process. The primary role of a shallow watercraft is to conduct antisubmarine operations in coastal waters, low-intensity maritime operations and in mine laying operations. The craft is 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 a maximum speed of 25 knots and are loaded with antisubmarine weapons which include lightweight torpedoes, ASW rockets and combat management systems.
The keel-laying ceremony marks a centuries-old tradition heralding the start of a ship’s construction at the site. The chief guest for the ceremony was V.L Kantha Rao, IAS, additional secretary and director general (Acquisition), Ministry of Defence, who graced the occasion through virtual mode.
Speaking on the occasion, V.L Kantha Rao highlighted that the acquisition wing of the Ministry of Defence has formulated several measures to speed up the procurement in the Armed Forces. He complimented GRSE on its performance in shipbuilding and highlighted the tremendous shipbuilding opportunities in immediate future for Indian Shipbuilders.
Rear Admiral VK Saxena, IN (Retd.), chairman and managing director, GRSE, highlighted that GRSE has delivered 70 ships to the Indian Navy and 15 more are at various stages of construction. 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) and 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.