The Defence Ministry on Friday (August 25) signed a contract with Hindustan Shipyard Ltd. (HSL), Visakhapatnam, for the acquisition of five fleet support ships (FSS) for the Indian Navy at an approximate cost of ₹19,000 crore. The ships in the 44,000-tonnes category will be the first of their kind to be built in India by an Indian shipyard.
“It would be a major boost towards achieving the goal of self-reliance in defence manufacturing as these ships will be indigenously designed and constructed by HSL, Visakhapatnam,” the Ministry said in a statement. The Cabinet Committee on Security had approved the acquisition on August 16.
The fleet support ships would be employed for replenishing ships at sea with fuel, water, ammunition and stores, enabling the Indian naval fleet to operate for prolonged periods without returning to harbour. “These ships would enhance the strategic reach and mobility of the fleet. The induction of these ships will significantly enhance the blue water capability of the Indian Navy,” the Ministry said. They can also be deployed for evacuation of people and human assistance and disaster relief (HADR) operations.
This project will generate employment of nearly 168.8 lakh man-days over a period of eight years, the Ministry said.
The construction of these ships would provide a new dimension to the Indian shipbuilding Industry and encourage active participation of associated industries, including MSMEs, the Ministry said, adding that majority of the equipment and systems would being sourced from indigenous manufacturers.
Patrol vessels for Coast Guard
In Goa, Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane laid the keel of four fast patrol vessels (FPVs) for the Coast Guard at Goa Shipyard Ltd. (GSL)
The FPV designed by GSL is a medium-range, weapon-fitted surface vessel with a length of 51.43 metres and a breadth of 8 metres. The ship is propelled by twin engines and has a maximum speed of 27 knots. The displacement of the vessel is approximately 320 tonnes. It is capable of operating in rough sea conditions.
In Kolkata, defence shipyard Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) Ltd., and the Dempo Group, the leading business house of Goa, signed a memorandum of understanding to launch a collaboration model to build commercial vessels in three premier shipyards of Dempo at Goa and Bhavnagar.
This is GRSE’s maiden attempt to diversify in a big way in commercial shipbuilding to capture a large market share in construction of commercial vessels, both domestic as well as international, the shipyard said in a statement. The shipyards of the Dempo group give a positional advantage to these clients for shifting the delivered vessels from India in comparison to China, Vietnam and Turkey, it stated.