The crest of the Indian Navy’s latest guided missile destroyer, named ‘Surat,’ was unveiled in a ceremony in Surat city. This marks the first warship to be named after a city in Gujarat, and the crest unveiling took place in the same city after which the warship was named
The crest of Indian Navy’s latest guided missile destroyer, ‘Surat’ was unveiled by Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel in the presence of the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar and other senior officers at a ceremony held in Surat city on Monday. This is the first warship to be named after a city of Gujarat, and in a first, the unveiling of the crest of a warship was held in the very city after which it has been named, a Defence release said.
The crest of the under-construction warship ‘Surat’ depicts the famous lighthouse at Hazira in Surat, an Asiatic lion and waves.
The warship, presently under construction at Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) in Mumbai, is slated to join the active service next year, as per the release.
“The lighthouse is located at the southern entrance of the Gulf of Khambhat. Built in the year 1836, this lighthouse was one of the first lighthouses in India. The Asiatic lion on the crest, which is also the state animal of Gujarat, symbolises the ship’s majesty and strength,” it said.
Equipped with the latest advancements in naval warfare technology and combat capabilities, the warship ‘Surat’ stands as a powerful embodiment of the Navy’s commitment to maritime security and national defence. This is well depicted by the wavy sea depicted on the crest, the release said.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launched this indigenously-constructed ship last March in Mumbai. The fourth ship of the indigenously designed and constructed Project 15B (Vishakhapatnam Class) destroyers, ‘Surat’ represents a remarkable leap in naval technology and capabilities. The ship has been constructed using innovative block construction methodology, wherein the ship’s hull has been assiduously assembled at distinct geographical locations before being integrated at the MDL in Mumbai.
On the occasion, the Gujarat CM said the warship is a testament to India becoming ‘Aatmanirbhar’ or self-reliant in the defence technology sector under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He said the warship was aptly named ‘Surat’ because the city was an important maritime link between India and many other countries centuries ago and was a flourishing centre for shipbuilding activities.
“Ships from as many as 84 countries used to dock at Surat port in the past. The people of Surat were experts in shipbuilding. The vessels built in Surat were renowned for their longevity as some ships continued to be in service for more than 100 years,” Patel said.
In his address, Admiral R Hari Kumar lauded Gujarat for its rich heritage, traditions, and a “profound connection with maritime domain”.
“Gujarat’s connection with the sea is not only geographic but also historic and economic. This connection has been part of Gujarat’s identity for centuries. Between the 16th and 18th centuries, the whole coast of the Tapi river was specially meant for shipbuilders. Ships were longer, bigger and better than contemporary western ships in use at that time,” said Admiral R Hari Kumar.
Before coming to Surat, the Chief of Naval Staff visited Koteshwar on the India-Pakistan border near Kutch district where the Indian Navy’s marine commandos are stationed with a unit of the Border Security Force (BSF).
“I held discussions with them and I want to assure you that our country’s security is on the able and strong shoulders, and we are proud to do our duty. We are inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s SAGAR vision, which stands for Security and Growth for All in the Region”, the Navy chief said.