On 30th November 2023, the Cochin Shipyard marked a significant milestone with the simultaneous launch of the fist three ships in a series of eight Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) shallow water crafts commissioned by the Indian Navy. The vessels, names INS Mahe, INS Malva and INS Mangrol, were unveiled in a ceremony attended by distinguished naval officials and their spouses.
The Cochin Equipment Shipyard entered into a contract with the Ministry of Defence in 2019 to construct a total of eight ASW vessels. The Mahe class of ships is designed to replace the Navy’s existing Abhay class ASW corvettes. The vessels boast capabilities for anti-submarine operations in coastline waters, low-intensity maritime scenarios, mine laying and sub-surface surveillance operations.
Arms and Equipment
Equipped with state-of-the-art technology, the ASW vessels feature light-weight torpedoes, ASW rockets and mines, a close-in weapon system (30 mm gun) and 12.7 mm stabilized remote control guns. These armaments enhance their effectiveness in various naval operations, including coordinated ASW operations with aircraft and search and rescue missions.
Each Mahe class vessel measures 78 meters in length, 11.36 meters in width, with a draught of 2.7 meters. They have a displacement of 896 tonnes and can achieve speeds of up to 25 knots (approximately 45 km/h). With an endurance of 1,800 nautical miles, these vessels are specifically designed to accommodate indigenously-developed sonars for underwater surveillance. The crew composition includes 57 personnel, including seven naval officers.
Integrated Hull Outfit and Painting Construction Method
The vessels were constructed using the integrated hull outfit and painting construction method at the Cochin Shipyard, meeting the stringent requirements of the Indian Navy. This method emphasizes efficiency and precision in the shipbuilding process.
Emphasis on Self-Reliance
Vice Admiral Sanjay J. Singh highlighted the success of India’s indigenization and self-reliance efforts in the shipbuilding sector. He expressed that the vibrant ship-building system in the country is indicative of its increasing naval prowess. The launch of these ASW vessels follows closely on the heels of the indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, showcasing India’s commitment to technological advancement and self-sufficiency.
Madhu S. Nair, the CMD of the shipyard, addressed the challenges faced the construction process, including the pandemic, forex variations and the war in Ukraine. Despite these obstacles, the vessels were delivered within the specified price limits, showcasing the resilience and dedication of the Cochin Shipyard.
According to a press release, the first ship of the ASW SWC project is scheduled for delivery by November 2024. This timeline emphasizes the efficiency and dedication with which Cochin Shipyard is progressing in the construction and commissioning of these crucial naval assets.
Important Questions Related to Exams
Q1. When were the first three ASW shallow water crafts launched by Cochin Shipyard for the Indian Navy?
Sol. The first three ASW shallow water crafts were launched on November 30, 2023.
Q2. How many ASW vessels is Cochin Shipyard commissioned to build for the Indian Navy?
Sol. Cochin Shipyard is contracted to construct a total of eight ASW vessels.
Q3. What is the length of each Mahe class vessel?
Sol. Each Mahe class vessel measures 78 meters in length.
Q4. What are the key armaments equipped on the ASW vessels?
Sol. The ASW vessels are equipped with light-weight torpedoes, ASW rockets and mines, a close-in weapon system (30 mm gun) and 12.7 mm stabilized remote control guns.