Kolkata: Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday launched the second P17A stealth frigate 'Dunagiri' into the Hooghly river in Kolkata.

The Project 17A frigate is built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders Limited (GRSE).

Admiral R Hari Kumar, Chief of Naval Staff, and other senior officers from the Indian Navy and Ministry of Defence were amongst the dignitaries who attended the ceremony.

Speaking on the occasion, Singh praised the efforts of the Directorate of Naval Design and other naval teams in realising the nation's quest for self-reliance with regard to warship building.

He also commended GRSE for its unstinted support in the field of ship production despite various challenges and for helping the Indian Navy realise its ship induction plan.

The Defence Minister said that 'Dunagiri' would be a world-class stealth frigate with multidimensional capabilities to destroy enemies from sea, sky, and underwater.

Speaking about the need to increase our infrastructure and assets in the changing scenario of the world, he said that economic, political and trade relations between countries are constantly evolving.

"Security challenges in the Indian Ocean region and Indo-Pacific are constantly increasing. In order to achieve the Prime Minister's Vision of 'SAGAR', i.e. 'Security and Growth for All in the Region' and to protect, preserve and promote India's national maritime interests, the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard and other organisations have to increase the infrastructure and assets so that the country stays ahead of the curve in dealing with these challenges," said Singh.

Kala Hari Kumar, President, Navy Wives Welfare Association (NWWA) performed the traditional honours and named the ship Dunagiri. The ship received a thunderous cheer from the jubilant gathering as she embraced the welcoming waters of the river Hooghly.

Christened after a mountain range in the state of Uttarakhand, 'Dunagiri' is the fourth ship of P17A frigates. These are a follow-on of the P17 Frigates (Shivalik Class) with improved stealth features, advanced weapons and sensors and platform management systems.

'Dunagiri' is the reincarnation of the erstwhile 'Dunagiri', the Leander Class ASW Frigate, which in her 33 years of service from 5 May 1977 to 20 October 2010, had witnessed various challenging operations and multinational exercises. The soul of a ship lives eternally and finds a suitable ship.

The first two ships of the P17A Project were launched in 2019 and 2020 at MDL and GRSE respectively. The third ship (Udaygiri) was launched at MDL on 17 May 22 earlier this year.

The launch of the fourth ship within such a short span is a testimony to the impetus provided towards self-reliant shipbuilding with a focused approach.

P17A ships have been designed in-house by the Indian Navy's Directorate of Naval Design (DND), which has successfully spearheaded the design of numerous classes of indigenous warships in the past.

This is a testimony to the nation's unwavering efforts towards 'Atmanirbharta' as 75 per cent of the orders for equipment and systems are also being placed to indigenous firms.