Navy launches indigenously-built ship ‘Arnala’ in Chennai

The Indian Navy launched ‘Arnala’, the first of the eight indigenously-built anti-submarine warfare shallow water craft (ASW-SWC), at the shipbuilding facility of L&T in Chennai’s Kattupalli.

Built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE), ‘Arnala’ made its first contact with the water of the Bay of Bengal at 10.40 am at the launch ceremony presided over by Rasika Chaube, financial adviser (defence services) of the defence ministry. In keeping with the Naval maritime tradition, Chaube launched the ship to the chanting of invocation from Atharva Veda.

The ship has been named ‘Arnala’ to signify the strategic maritime importance accorded to the island of Arnala, located about 13 kilometres north of Vasai, Maharashtra, by Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

In any ship’s life, there are four key ceremonial occasions – keel laying, launching, commissioning and decommissioning. Launching is when the ship is transferred from the building site into the waters.

The ‘Arnala’ class of ships will replace the ‘Abhay’ class ASW ships of the Indian Navy. These are designed to undertake anti-submarine operations in coastal waters and low-intensity maritime operations (LIMO), including subsurface surveillance in littoral waters. The 77.6-metre-long ASW-SWC ships have a displacement of 900 tonnes with a maximum speed of 25 knots and endurance of 1800 nautical miles (NM).

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