Directorate of Naval Design (DND (SSG))

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The early vision of the Naval planners for a ‘Builders Navy’, led to the formation of the Corps of Naval Constructors in Nov 1956, followed by setting up of a small ‘Central Design Office’ in 1964. This Central Design Office emerged as the Directorate of Naval Design in 1970 formed the nucleus of all warship design activities in the country. Subsequently it was upgraded to be headed by a Director General Naval Design (DGND), in 1976.


Padmashri S Parmanandhan, was the illustrious founding Director General Naval Design of the Indian Navy. He was succeeded by some very accomplished and distinguished officers from the Corps of Naval Constructors, Capt KK Lohana, VSM (Retd), V Adm R Nath, PVSM, AVSM, VSM (Retd), R Adm NP Gupta, VSM (Retd) ,R Adm MK Badhwar, AVSM, VSM (Retd) and the incumbent R Adm KN Vaidyanathan, AVSM, NM. Under the stewardship of these remarkable leaders the organization has grown from strength to strength. The foresight, perseverance and professionalism of these eminent officers have made this organization the cornerstone of Warship Design in the country.

Padma Shri S Parmanandhan(Retd)
Padma Shri S Parmanandhan (Retd)
Capt. KK Lohana, VSM (Retd)
Capt. KK Lohana, VSM (Retd)
V Adm. R Nath, PVSM, AVSM, VSM (Retd)
V Adm. R Nath, PVSM, AVSM, VSM (Retd)
R Adm. NP Gupta, AVSM, VSM (Retd)
R Adm. NP Gupta, AVSM, VSM (Retd)
R Adm MK Badhwar, AVSM, VSM (Retd)
R Adm MK Badhwar, AVSM, VSM (Retd)


Warship building was ushered into the country with the licence production of Leander class frigates in the 1960s.

Beginning modestly with design of small craft and other auxiliary vessels, the Directorate of Naval Design (DND) made its mark by designing the 1800 tonnes survey vessel of the Sandhayak class in the early 70s. Eight ships built to this design are still in service.

The Godavari class was the first major warship design undertaken by DND. Three Vessels of the class built at the Mazagon Dock Ltd (MDL), Mumbai are in service for the last over 20 Years. The highlight of this design was the use of the propulsion plant of the smaller Leanders to drive a larger hull with 1000 tonne

The hallmark of DND’s creative design expertise has been the design of the Delhi class destroyers. The lead ship of the class – INS Delhi successfully sailed through one the most severe cyclonic storms in the South China Sea in 2001, an apt testimony to the remarkable structural

These majestic ships are the proud ambassadors of the combat might of the Indian Navy. Their sleek hulls with aggressive bows, carrying a formidable array of weapons and sensors, won considerable international acclaim during deployments abroad.

Till date, 17 different designs ranging from small craft to destroyers have been designed by the Navy’s Design Organisation, to which more than 80 of warship have been built.


The beginning of the 21st century has marked a new chapter in the history of indigenous warship design and construction. Modern concepts of ‘stealth’ and enhanced survivability are being incorporated from the very early stages of the design

P-17: Project 17 consists of three ships of Shivalik class stealth frigates designed by the Indian Navy’s Design Organisation - Directorate of Naval Design (DND) and built by Mazagon Dock Limited. The ships are named after mountain ranges of the Indian sub-continent, “Shivalik”, “Satpura” and “Sahyadri”. The construction of first ship “Shivalik” commenced in Dec 2000. The ship was delivered on 30 Mar 10 and commissioned on 29 Apr 10. The second ship “Satpura” was delivered on 09 Jul 11 and commissioned on 20 Aug 11. The third ship “Sahyadri” is also in advanced stage of construction.

The design, construction and equipment development of “Shivalik” is a watershed in DND's 50 years of indigenous warship design and building efforts and is a hall mark of the technological strides made by the country in this field. Designed as multi-purpose frigates, each ship is 143 meter long, displacing about 6000 T, incorporates several new design features giving the ship enhanced operational capabilities in terms of survivability, stealth, sea keeping, ship handling and weapons.

P-17A:P17A ships are follow-on of Project 17 Shivalik class stealth frigates and are being designed with much more advanced stealth features and indigenous weapon & sensors fit. The Ship would have a design deep displacement of about 6400 tonnes and shall be capable of achieving a maximum speed of approximately 28 knots. Seven ships of this class are planned to be constructed at MDL & GRSE. The ships are planned to be built using modern technology of ‘Integrated Construction’, with extensive pre-outfitting to reduce build periods.

P-15A: Three ships of the Kolkata class (P 15A), follow-on of the highly successful Delhi class destroyers, are currently under construction at MDL. The P15A destroyer possesses enhanced stealth features and land-attack capabilities and adds a new dimension in naval warfare for the Indian Navy. The indigenously designed ship will have modern weapons and sensors, advanced action information system, total atmospheric control system and a host of other advanced features. These ships with updated weapon package and new look exteriors for improved stealth will be delivered beginning with this decade.

P-28:Four ASW Corvette (P 28) are being built at M/s GRSE, Kolkata and will have sophisticated arrangement for mounting ship’s machinery. Stealth has been a major thrust area for evolving P-28 design. These ships will have an all-indigenous weapon sensor suite.

P 71:The design and construction of the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier was sanctioned in 2003. This is the most prestigious project that the Indian Navy has taken-up so far. The design and construction of this ship is a technical complexity whose dimensions far outstrip any challenge faced hitherto by the Indian Naval Designers. With this project, India has become the fourth nation to join the select club of 40,000 tonnes-plus aircraft carrier designers and builders. The Indigenous Aircraft Carrier, designed by Navy’s Design Organisation and being built at M/s Cochin Shipyard Limited, would be capable of operating an aircraft mix of Russian MiG-29K, Ka31, and the indigenous LCA.

The ship is being constructed using high strength steel developed in-house with the help of DRDO and SAIL. The production of Indigenous Aircraft Carrier commenced in Nov 06 and large numbers of blocks have already been erected and equipment installation and onboard outfitting are in progress. The ship’s keel was laid on 28 Feb 09 by the Hon’ble Raksha Mantri.


The evolving technologies and need for sophistication in future naval combatants, demand considerable expertise in the core areas of Hydrodynamics, hull form design, structures, propulsion and stealth and automation.

Over the last two years a number of specialist groups have been created in the DND to consolidate, nurture and enhance expertise in these core areas of design

Hydrodynamics –‘Making Waves’

Structural Design – ‘Infusing strength to weather the storms’

Stealth – ‘Mastering the ‘Art of Deception’ – Low observable signatures

Propulsion System Integration – ‘Propelling the future Navy’


The Indian navy is passing through an intense phase of modernization and transformation. The future induction programme of warships and weapon systems will have an increasing thrust on indigenous design and construction. Evolving technologies and need for flexibility of roles of future warships call for adopting bold new strategies in design and construction. While we can proudly reminiscence our past achievements, we also need to rededicate ourselves to the exciting business of warship design and construction which is emerging as an ever more challenging task.



Rear Admiral AK Saxena, NM
Director General Naval Design (SSG)