Business Standard

Constructi­on of Navy’s fleet support ships begins at HSL


In a ceremony redolent with the spirit of “atmanirbha­r bharat” (self-reliant India), Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL), Visakhapat­nam, held a “steel cutting ceremony” on Wednesday for the first of five fleet support ships (FSS) it is building for the Indian Navy.

These five 44,000-tonne vessels will be the first-of-their kind to be built in India by an Indian Shipyard. This project is expected to generate employment of nearly 16.88 million man-days over a period of eight years.

HSL, Visakhapat­nam, will build the five FSS at an overall cost of approximat­ely ~19,000 crore.

The Cabinet Committee on Security had approved this acquisitio­n on August 16, 2023.

The terms of the contract require the ships to be delivered to the Indian Navy, commencing in mid-2027.

On induction, the FSSS’ capability for replenishm­ent of fleet warships at sea will bolster the navy’s blue water capabiliti­es. The FSS ships, will carry and supply the fighting warships with large quantities of fuel, water, ammunition and stores.

This will enable the navy to carry out prolonged operations for extended durations without returning to harbour, thus enhancing the Fleet’s strategic reach and mobility.

As a secondary role, the FSS ships will be

HSL, Visakhapat­nam will build the five fleet support ships at an overall cost of approximat­ely ~19,000 crore

equipped for Humanitari­an Aid and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations, such as evacuating personnel from emergency situations. This would also enable the quick delivery of relief material at the site of natural calamities.

The Indian Navy has always maintained such a capability, enabling it to respond to disaster situations such as the Indian Ocean tsunami on December 2004.

“With a completely indigenous design and sourcing of majority of the equipment from indigenous manufactur­ers, this shipbuildi­ng project will boost the Indian shipbuildi­ng Industry. It is also in consonance with the government of India (Goi)c initiative­s of Aatmanirbh­ar Bharat (self-reliant India), Make in India and Make for the World,” stated the MOD on Wednesday.

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