The government on Thursday approved the transfer of the Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL), Visakhapatnam, from the Ministry of Shipping to the Defence Ministry for meeting the national security requirements of building strategic vessels for the Navy.

The approval was accorded by the Cabinet at a meeting here, according to Union Minister Ambika Soni.

To meet the merchant shipping requirements of shipbuilding and report, the government had accorded ‘in principle’ approval to the Ministry of Shipping for setting up a shipyard of international standards, the Minister said.

Dedicated shipyard

With this, the shipyard, one of the oldest shipbuilding organisations in the country, will join the ranks of three dedicated shipyards in the public sector to cater to the needs of the Navy and the Coast Guard.

The HSL, which now caters to both merchant and naval vessels, also undertakes ship repairs, inclusive of sophisticated and state-of-the-art submarine retrofitting and construction of offshore structures.

The organisation said that the yard had, over the years, built 150 ships and repaired nearly 1,800 ships.

During the year, the keel laying of two Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) for the Coast Guard was held - one in January and another in April.

In May, the shipyard launched the Coast Guard’s first inshore OPV.

With the HSL coming directly under the Defence Ministry, the shipyard is expected to be the base for building an Advanced Technology Vessel and probably for the second line of submarines sanctioned under Project 75 India.

Project 75 envisages building of six French Scorpene submarines, now under construction at the Mazagaon Dock Limited (MDL) in Mumbai.

Besides MDL, the other two Defence Public Sector Undertakings are the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited and the Goa Shipyard.

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