Kolkata: The 16 Anti-Submarine Shallow Water Craft (ASW SWC) being built for the Indian Navy by the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) Ltd and Cochin Shipyard Ltd (eight each) will have 'desi' hull-mounted sonar.

This fact came to light during the launch of INS Androth, second in the series of the eight ASW SWCs being built by GRSE. This totally indigenous sonar has been specially developed for the ASW SWCs, Commander P.R. Hari (Retd), Chairman and Managing Director, GRSE, said.

Earlier in the day, Vice Admiral Dinesh K. Tripathi, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command, had pointed out how the Navy is amending the contract for supply of hull-mounted sonar for these warships.

Vice Admiral Tripathi was the chief guest at the launch of the ship by his wife Shashi Tripathi.

Hull-mounted sonar is a crucial part for any warship, particularly those engaged in search for submarines and other sub-surface threats.

"The indigenous sonar system for these ships are part of India's 'Aatmanirbhar' efforts. This will ensure greater indigenous content to these platforms. They already have more than 85 per cent indigenous content. It is a matter of pride for GRSE to design and build these warships. It was an honour for us to receive the Raksha Mantri's Trophy 2022 for designing the 'most silent ship'. That was for the first ASW SWC of the series, INS Arnala. The INS Arnala was launched on December 21, 2022 and we have launched the second one of the series in just three months. We hope to complete and deliver these ships to the Navy in FY 25," Cmde Hari said.

Over the last 63 years, GRSE has delivered 70 ships to the Navy. It is now building 15 more. Apart from the eight ASW SWCs, there are three Advanced Stealth Missile Frigates and four Survey Vessels (Large). Seven of these ships have already been launched and are in various stages of outfitting.

According to Cmde Hari, GRSE is likely to bag the order for four Ocean-going patrol vessels for the Navy soon. GRSE will also bid for construction of the Next Generation Corvettes (NGCs) for the Navy, he added.

Vice Admiral Tiwari lauded GRSE's efforts and hoped that it will continue to design and deliver similar potent platforms, not only to the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard, but also to the friendly foreign nations.

The ASW SWCs may be small (77.6 metres long), but are extremely lethal. They are armed with torpedoes, missiles and mines and have the capability of detecting smaller sub-surface vessels and drones close to the Indian coastline. They are capable of operating at a draught of merely 2.7 metres and can coordinate with aircraft to neutralise threats.