Stealth frigate INS Dunagiri launched into the Hooghly River

Indian Navy Ship (INS) Dunagiri, one of seven stealth frigates that India is constructing under Project 17A, has been launched into the Hooghly River near Kolkata.

Like all the frigates of Project 17A, INS Dunagiri is named after a mountain range in the country. This began with Project 17, which yielded three frigates: INS Shivalik in 2010, INS Satpura in 2011 and INS Sahyadri in 2012.

Dunagiri is the fourth warship of Pro­ject 17A. These highly advanced, 6,600-tonne, guided missile frigates are follow-on vessels of the three-frigate Project 17, known as the Shivalik-class. However, Project 17A frigates have improved stealth features, advanced weapons and sensors and platform management systems.

INS Dunagiri is the reincarnation of an earlier frigate with the same name, which was part of the six-frigate Leander class. The first two warships of Project 17A — INS Nilgiri and INS Himgiri — were launched in 2019 and 2020 at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers) and Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE) respectively. The third ship, INS Udaygiri, was launched at MDL in May this year.

All the Project 17A guided missile frigates have been designed in-house by the Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design (DND). The DND has spearheaded the design of numerous classes of indigenous warships in the years gone by.

The Nilgiri-class, as the Leander-class frigates are called after the first-of-class vessel, were the first Indian warships that saw the navy carrying out significant levels of design and indigenisation.

The seven Project 17A frigates are the first Indian warships to have incorporated modular shipbuilding technologies, for which MDL and GRSE shipyards have been upgraded at significant cost.