Industry

Russia partners Reliance Group for ‘Make in India’ warships

Industrialist Anil Ambani with Nikhil Gandhi, chairman of Pipavav Defence at the Pipavav Defence facilities in Gujarat. File Photo

Industrialist Anil Ambani with Nikhil Gandhi, chairman of Pipavav Defence at the Pipavav Defence facilities in Gujarat. File Photo  

With India close to choosing Grigorivich frigates for its navy, Russia is partnering Anil Ambani-led Pipavav Defence, to build these ships under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” initiative, official sources said.

The ships will be upgraded versions of Talwar-class ships, or the Russian equivalent of Krivak-III.

A team from Russia evaluated three-four private and state-run shipyards, as they were keen on an Indian partner, if the ships were to be built in India. This will be a pre-condition for the order valued at USD 3- 3.5 billion, two senior defence officials confirmed.

The sites evaluated were Pipavav’s yard in Gujarat, Larsen and Toubro’s unit at Ennore, and the state-run Cochin Shipyard in Kerala. Pipavav, a majority stake of which was acquired by the Reliance Group a few months ago, emerged the winner.

“The Prime Minister’s Office is closely watching the development. This is likely to be an order that will be placed on the Government of Russia by our government,” one of the two officials told.

Incidentally, the development comes against the backdrop of the navy vice chief, Vice Admiral P. Murugesan, stating on Tuesday that India was exploring the possibility of getting upgraded Talwar-class ships.

“As per our maritime perspective plan, we have to build a certain number of ships in a certain time. We are exploring the possibility to expedite the acquisition of certain number of ships. But this will not be an import. It has to be made in India. The idea is to have a 198-ship force by 2027, up from the current 137 vessels,” Mr. Murugesan told.

India stressed on domestic defence production under the “Make in India” programme, an important aspect of which is to get technology transfers and inviting foreign firms to manufacture in India.

The Grigorivichs are improved variants of the six Talwar-class frigates, which the navy obtained between 2003 and 2013.

In March, the Reliance Group had announced its acquisition of an 18-percent stake from the then promoters of Pipavav Defence, apart from a 26-percent mandatory open offer.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2020 2:16:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/russia-partners-reliance-group-for-make-in-india-warships/article7429026.ece

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