Indian Navy on ship-buying spree
Apart from the 46 ships under construction for the Indian Navy, the service has obtained acceptance of necessity for 49 more ships and submarines. According to Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma, these include seven more follow-on ships of the Shivalik class (Project 17-A), which are to be built at both Mazagon Dock Ltd in Mumbai and the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE), Kolkata; the navy is working towards contract conclusion before the end of March next year. Contracts for four water-jet FACs, to be built at GRSE, one more training ship, to be built at a private shipyard and two mine hunters to be built in South Korea are likely to be concluded during the current financial year as well. Six more mine hunters will be subsequently built at Goa Shipyard under ToT. Options for the Deep Submergence and Rescue Vessel (DSRV) are presently undergoing technical evaluation. Critically, approval for construction of six submarines under Project-75(I) is at the final stages of approval. Requests for Proposals in respect of four amphibious landing platform docks (LPDs), 16 shallow water anti-submarine warfare ships — the order being split between two shipyards — one survey training vessel and two diving support vessels will also be issued in the coming months. The Navy Chief emphasised that of the 46 ships and submarines presently on order, 43 are from Indian shipyards.