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Kolkata (December 20, 2022):   The Indian Navy's first Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Craft (ASWSWC), being built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) Ltd, was launched by Smt Rasika Chaube, Financial Advisor (Defence Services), Ministry of Defence, on December 20, 2022. Cmde PR Hari IN (Retd), Chairman and Managing Director, GRSE, Cmde Ashok Khetan, Head (L&T Shipbuilding), RAdm Sandeep Mehta, ACWP&A, Indian Navy, Shri RK Dash, Director (Finance), GRSE, other Senior officials of Indian Armed Forces, GRSE and L&T also witnessed the ceremony.

GRSE is building eight ASWSWCs for the Indian Navy, and these ‘Silent Hunters’ when delivered, shall be a potent force multiplier enhancing the Indian Navy's capability to detect enemy submarines in our coastal waters. GRSE became the only shipyard in India to be honoured with the Raksha Mantri's Award 2022, an award won for the design of these ships. These 77.6-metre long and 10.5-metre wide vessels propelled by three diesel driven water jets will pack a punch as they will be capable of full-scale sub-surface surveillance of coastal waters as well as Search and Attack. These vessels are classed by IRCLASS.
GRSE has once again created a record by launching six vessels in eight months (May 22 – till date), including the prestigious 2ND P17A, two in-house designed Survey Vessels (Large), a Fast Patrol Vessel, an Ocean Going Passenger cum Cargo Ferry for Guyana & this 1st ASW Shallow Water Craft today.  

In true Naval tradition, the Ship was named ‘Arnala’ after her predecessor who was decommissioned way back in 1999. The ‘Arnala’ class ships were the erstwhile Soviet origin ‘Pettya’ class ships of the Indian Navy ASW Corvettes. Smt Rasika Chaube lauded GRSE's efforts towards achieving 90% indigenisation in shipbuilding and contributing to Government of India’s mission of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’. She acknowledged GRSE’s contribution in enhancing the ‘Anti-Submarine Warfare’ capability of Indian Navy by building such capable ships indigenously and especially the ASW- Shallow Water Crafts which have a unique distinction of being a first of the type being built in India. Smt. Chaube stressed on the need for the armed forces to be well equipped with the best and the latest technology and said that launching of Anti-Submarine Warfare vessel today is a step in this direction. She also congratulated GRSE on receiving the Honourable Raksha Mantri Award for this most silent ship being made for the Indian Navy. 

Cmde PR Hari CMD GRSE, in his address said “today is a very unique occasion where the Chief Guest Smt Rasika Chaube is also the lady who shall do the honours of naming the ship and launching the ship”. Cmde Hari also stated that being the ‘1st of Class’ to be launched today, in a series of eight ASWSWC ships, ‘Arnala’ is an example of ‘Make in India’ initiatives and when delivered, she will have nearly 88% indigenous content. These ships are testimony to the indigenous design capability of India, he said. Cmde Hari also congratulated all the stakeholders involved in this project including the Naval Headquarters and Production Partners for their continued support and timely decisions. 

The journey of Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd., a premier Warship building Company in India, under the administrative control of Ministry of Defence, a PCMM Level-2 Certified Company, dates back to 1884. The Company was taken over by the Government of India in 1960. First shipyard of independent India to build a Seaward Defence Boat (SDB) INS Ajay for Indian Navy in 1961, GRSE also built the first ever Indian Export Warship “CGS Barracuda”. The shipyard was conferred the status of a Miniratna Category I Company in 2006. Over last 63 years, GRSE has built 788 platforms including 107 warships for Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard, and Government of Mauritius & Seychelles Coast Guard - highest warships built & delivered by any Indian shipyard till date. From Frigates, Corvettes, Fleet Tankers, Landing Ship Tank, Landing Craft Utility to Survey Vessels, Offshore Patrol Vessels and Fast Attack Craft - the repertoire is rich and varied. In addition to ship building, GRSE is also engaged in engine production and other engineering activities. The engineering division manufactures deck machinery items, pre-fabricated portable steel bridges and marine pumps. Noteworthy accolades include Raksha Mantri Award 2022 in Designing the most silent ship for Indian Navy for ASW operation, Defence Minister’s Award for Excellence for In-house Design Effort for Offshore Patrol Vessel for Government of Mauritius, CGS Barracuda, Best Performing Defence Shipyard of India for Four Years in a row. GRSE embraced infrastructure modernization over past decades and delightful impact was perceived in the concurrent construction of 20 ships at a time. Team of highly skilled design engineers and state of art VR Lab & latest software cater to the in-house design capabilities. With proven credentials, the shipyard is on a growth path, reaffirming its motto “In Pursuit of Excellence and Quality in Shipbuilding.

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