Keel Laid for the Third Stealth Frigate of Project 17A
(Source: Indian Ministry of Defence; issued Sept 10, 2020)
Vice Admiral S R Sarma – COM & CWP&A of the Indian Navy and Shri V L Kantha Rao Additional Secretary (Defence Production) laid the keel of the third ship (Yard- 12653) of the prestigious P17A class stealth frigates on 10 Sep 2020.

The keel laying ceremony was conducted through an e-platform in the presence of Vice Admiral R B Pandit, Chief of Staff, HQWNC and Vice Admiral Narayan Prasad (IN Retd.) – CMD MDL.

Seven frigates under P17A series will be constructed of which four are being constructed in MDL and three in GRSE with MDL as the lead yard. The P17A class frigates are being built using indigenously developed steel and fitted with weapons and sensors along with Integrated Platform Management System. These ships are having stealth features.

Construction of P17A ships differ in the very concept of warship building by way of adoption of the modern technology ‘Integrated Construction (IC)’ where the blocks are pre-outfitted before joining to reduce the build period of warships. When commissioned the platforms will enhance the combat capability of the Indian Naval fleet.

The function was attended by Rear Admiral G K Harish, DGND, Commodore T V Thomas (IN Retd.), Director (CP&P), MDL, Rear Admiral A K Saxena (IN Retd.), Director (Shipbuilding), Commander Jasbir Singh (IN Retd.), Director (S&HE), MDL, Shri Sanjeev Singhal, Director (Finance), MDL , Shri Mahesh Chandra, CVO, MDL alongwith senior executives from MDL & Navy through an e-ceremony including the Warship Overseeing Team.

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Keel Laid for First Offshore Patrol Vessel Built in WA
(Source: Australian Department of Defence; issued Sept 11, 2020)
The [Australian] Government’s National Shipbuilding Program has reached another milestone with the keel laying for the first Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) under construction in WA.

Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said the keel laying is an important naval tradition that brings good luck to the build of the ship and the life of the vessel by placing a coin under the keel.

“This milestone marks the start of the consolidation phase for the third Arafura Class ship to be built in Australia, named Pilbara by the Chief of Navy,” Minister Reynolds said.

“It demonstrates the success of this Government’s Naval Shipbuilding plan, with eight vessels already built and another 10 vessels currently under construction at Henderson and Osborne.

“Western Australia is playing a key role in the development of our national naval shipbuilding enterprise, and the Government’s $4.7 billion OPV program is spearheading the implementation of this plan and connecting with Australian industry.

“Since construction commenced ahead of schedule in March, the Luerssen and Civmec teams in WA have continued to make significant progress on building the blocks that, when complete, will form a 1,600 tonne 80 metre long OPV.

“Made with Australian steel, cut locally in WA, the OPVs will offer greater endurance to undertake maritime patrol and response duties, as well as support specialist missions.”

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the keel laying was of extra significance for her given the Pilbara was in her electorate of Durack.

“I have no doubt that people in my electorate and the wider WA community will be as proud as I am of the fact that this ship will be known as Pilbara, particularly given the region’s remarkable contribution to this country,” Minister Price said.

“I am very pleased that Luerssen and Civmec have been able to reach this milestone in such a timely manner, and I have no doubt that is due in part to the practices they put in place to deal with COVID-19.

“This project has created about 400 jobs here in Perth and involved more than 300 businesses across the Australian supply chain. It is on track to achieve more than 60 per cent local industry content.”

The OPVs are based on the Lürssen PV80 design.

The first two vessels are under construction at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia, and will be followed by 10 ships to be built at the Henderson shipyard.

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