New Delhi, 17th August 2023: President Droupadi Murmu is scheduled to make an official visit to Kolkata on Thursday. During this visit, she will preside over the launch of an advanced stealth frigate, named ‘Vindhyagiri,’ for the Indian Navy, and inaugurate a de-addiction campaign. The ‘Vindhyagiri’ will be launched at the facility of Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE), located on the banks of the Hooghly River. This event is anticipated to enhance India’s maritime capabilities, according to a defence official.
The launch of ‘Vindhyagiri’ marks a significant milestone in the ‘Project 17 Alpha initiative, aiming to construct a total of seven ships for the Navy. The first five vessels were launched between 2019 and 2022. This event also signifies the completion of the third and final stealth frigate produced by the Kolkata-based warship manufacturer under the project. Notably, around 75 per cent of orders for equipment and systems for the P17A ships originate from domestic enterprises, including micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
The state-of-the-art ship, equipped with cutting-edge technology, will undergo comprehensive testing before being formally handed over to the Indian Navy for active service. The guided-missile frigates known as the P17A vessels exhibit measurements of 149 meters in length, a displacement of around 6,670 tonnes, and a verified speed of 28 knots, as attested by a representative from GRSE. These frigates hold the capability to counter threats in the air, on the surface, and below the surface.
In addition to the frigate launch, President Murmu will also initiate the ‘My Bengal, Addiction Free Bengal’ campaign as part of the ‘Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyan.’ This event, organized by the Brahma Kumaris, will take place at the Raj Bhavan. This marks President Murmu’s second visit to West Bengal since assuming office last year. She had previously visited the state in March. Given the significance of the visit, heightened security measures have been implemented in the city, including traffic regulation on various roads, as confirmed by officials.