To augment Indian Navy’s anti-submarine operations, two ships ‘Agray’ and ‘Akshay’ were launched on Wednesday nearly five years after the Ministry of Defence signed a contract with Kolkata-based PSU GRSE for production of eight such ASW Shallow Water Crafts (SWCs).

Agray and Akshay – named after erstwhile Abhay Class Corvettes Agray and Akshay of Indian Navy – are the 5th and 6th ships in the SWC project series. In keeping with maritime tradition, Neeta Chaudhari, wife of Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari, Chief of the Air staff, launched the ships to the invocation from Atharva Veda.

Speaking at the launch ceremony, Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari told the gathering of officers from Navy and GRSE, “It is a matter of immense pride that India is among select countries in the world with a capacity to build modern warships, submarines and aircraft carriers.” These Arnala class of ships will replace the in-service Abhay class ASW Corvettes of Indian Navy and are designed to undertake anti-submarine operations in coastal waters, Low Intensity Maritime Operations (LIMO) and Mine Laying Operations, the Indian Navy officially stated.

The ASW SWC ships are 77.6-metre- long and 105-metre wide with a displacement of 900 tonnes and endurance of over 1800 NM.

In the last one year, 3 indigenously built warships/ submarine for Indian Navy have been delivered and a total of 9 warships were launched. The launch of two more ships of the project highlights the nation’s resolve towards ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ in shipbuilding, the Navy stated.

According to the Navy, the ASW SWC ships will have over 80 per cent indigenous content, thereby ensuring that large scale defence production is executed by Indian manufacturing units, generating employment and capability enhancement within the country.