State-run Steel Authority of India (SAIL) has received an order for supplying steel for seven frigates to be constructed for the Indian Navy. This is the first time that the Navy’s new warships will be built using Indian steel. Earlier, warship-grade steel was imported from Russia.
"In all, 24,000 tonnes of steel would be supplied," a spokesperson from SAIL said. Besides Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP), the other two SAIL entities including Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) and Bokaro Steel Plant would be supplying the special warship-grade steel for the order. The share of BSP would be more.
Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE) in Kolkata would be building three advanced stealth frigates under the Navy's Project 17A, while the rest will be built by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd.
The order is in line of Make-in-India initiative. “The initiatives including indigenous manufacture of seven new frigates for Indian Navy for which SAIL is to supply steel translates into continued demand as well as fresh orders for our products,” a SAIL spokesperson said.
Earlier, SAIL had supplied DMR 249A grade plates that are specially toughened warship grade plates. It was used for constructing the hull of INS Vikrant, the aircraft carrier of Indian Navy that was commissioned in August 2013.
SAIL has thus successfully developed DMR 249A steel plates, thereby making the steel indigenously available for manufacture of Air Defence Ships and Corvettes by Indian Navy. The company had supplied more than 26,000 Tonnes of DMR 249A steel plates in the last 9 years.