GRSE, Reliance facilities in city to strengthen Navy’s capabilities

The indigenously built Nuclear-powered ballistic Submarine INS Arihant seen off Visakhapatnam coast. -File Photo  

Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd (GRSE), a Ministry of Defence enterprise, is keen on establishing a warship manufacturing facility at Rambilli near here as part of plans to make Visakhapatnam the base for nuclear powered submarines under Project Varsha.

The Indian Navy, which has the headquarters of its Eastern Naval Command in the city, is building INS Varsha, an underground secret base for new fleet of Naval Operational Alternate Base at Rambilli, about 50 km from here, as part of owning Arihant class submarines.

At the just-concluded CII Partnership Summit and Sunrise Andhra Pradesh Investment Meet, Chairman of Reliance Group Anil Ambani had announced the establishment of a world-class naval facility at Rambilli with an initial investment of Rs.5,000 crore under ‘Make in India’ programme.

The GRSE is already in touch with the State government and the district administration has asked the National Institute of Oceanography to conduct sea depth studies at Rambilli.

Reliable sources told The Hindu that as Arihant construction is now going on at the Ship Building Centre in the city, another secret project of the Navy, certain trials and construction of some components needed to be taken up at Rambilli. “These works will mostly be entrusted to the new facilities coming up at Rambilli,” the sources disclosed.

The GRSE has already conveyed its desire to take up construction of second Aircraft Carrier (IAC-2) at new Greenfield deepwater shipbuilding facility at Rambilli, which will be a shot in the arm for Navy’s plans to become a strong blue water force.

“A Greenfield shipyard needs to be established at a deepwater location with 14 M draught to construct the 65,000 tonne ship. GRSE has identified suitable location at Rambilli near Visakhapatnam and the Government of Andhra Pradesh has agreed to provide land with adequate water frontage for establishing the Greenfield facility,” GRSE stated in its final annual report for 2014-15.

Regional super power

Underlining the need for achieving self-reliance, Mr.Ambani stated in his address at the Partnership Summit that “India can become a regional superpower only if our maritime capabilities are strengthened through vigorous build-up of our surface and sub-surface fleet.”

He said the US today had 10 aircraft-carrier groups operating around the world to project its power and protect its interests and on course to add another three, while India has barely one.

Similarly, while the US has 72 submarines and China 69, India has a small fleet of 17 submarines.

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Printable version | Oct 31, 2020 10:17:20 PM |

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