In line with the requirement of the ‘Make in India’ initiative which calls for foreign defence companies to manufacture in the country, Russia is looking to invest in an Indian shipyard, a senior Russian official said on Monday. The official added that Moscow had overcome dependency on Ukraine for ship engines and was also offering them to India.
“We would like to participate in ‘Make in India’ and are preparing ourselves to build a full-fledged campus in India. We want to become a shareholder in a shipbuilding yard in India. We understand that there are a bunch of interesting options still in front of us and hopefully we will quickly make up our mind,” said Alexey Rakhmanov, Director-General of the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) of Russia, speaking to visiting mediapersons on the sidelines of the Army-2022 exhibition.
In the past, the USC had looked to acquire Pipavav shipyard but it has gone bankrupt.
As per a 2016 Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) between India and Russia, two stealth frigates are under construction in Russia under a $1-billion deal while two more are being built by Goa Shipyard Ltd. (GSL) under technology transfer. All the four frigates are powered by gas turbine engines from Zorya-Mashproekt of Ukraine.
On the engines for the two frigates under construction in India, Mr. Rakhmanov added, “The dependency on Ukraine has been dealt with a while ago and the Saturn company has developed the engines. We don’t have any dependency on Ukraine, that is history now. Should the Indian side choose the Russian engines (for the frigates under construction) we will be happy to supply them.”
A key factory of Zorya-Mashproekt in Mykolaiv was hit in March in the ongoing war in Ukraine and the visuals showing damage and thick smoke emanating from the facility has raised concerns that it may adversely impact the Indian Navy. The Zorya factory is intact, defence officials had stated.
Zorya has delivered engines for the two frigates under construction in Russia and they have been installed. The engines were delivered to India which sent them over to Russia. Engines for the two frigates being built by GSL are also ready and will be delivered as and when convenient, as reported earlier.
Zorya’s engines power around 30 frontline Naval warships, including the Rajput-class destroyers, Delhi-class destroyers, missile corvettes and the six Krivak, or Talwar class, stealth frigates in-service.