The Indian Navy on Thursday commissioned the INS Shivalik, the first of three new indigenous stealth frigates, the Defense Ministry said.
The 6,200-ton, 142.5 by 16.9 meter frigate has low radar visibility. Special aerodynamics, as well as the equipment and materials used in building the warship makes it very difficult to monitor its movements.
It has a range of 5,000 nautical miles at cruising speed of 18 knots and a crew of 257, including 35 officers.
Speaking at an official ceremony, Defense Minister A K Antony said there had been a distinct shift in country's policy from a "Buyer's Navy to a Builder's Navy."
"We must continue with our efforts to transform and modernize our shipyards, so that they can not only meet the domestic demands but also achieve latest international standards in quality construction," he said.
He said India's long coastline and ever expanding exclusive economic zone made it imperative to defend land and sea lanes.
The INS Shivalik is the first in the series, the other two being the Satpura and the Sahyadiri. The Navy has said Shivalik-class frigates will be its mainstay warships in the first half of the 21st century.
Apart from India, only the U.S., Russia, the U.K., France, Sweden, Japan, Italy and China have the capability to build stealth warships of this size and class.
NEW DELHI, April 29 (RIA Novosti)
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