Private shipyards may build large warships


Given the rising demands of the Indian Navy and Coast Guard, the ministry of defence may allow private shipyards in the country to build warships and other naval vessels. This was revealed by MM Pallam Raju, the minister of state for defence in Kolkata on Tuesday.

According to sources, given the security scenario in the region, both the Navy and Coast Guard need new ships of various sizes with advanced technology. While the requirement is for 25-30 new naval vessels per year, the combined capacity of existing PSU shipyards is barely 6-7.

“There is a great demand for ships from the Navy and Coast Guard. Private shipyards are presently building smaller craft like patrol boats for coastal surveillance. There is a demand from these shipyards for orders to build larger naval vessels. This demand may be considered. This is when existing PSU shipyards will face a stiff competition. However, shipbuilding is a complex process and the existing PSU yards have the necessary expertise in building warships that the private shipyards may not possess. In the end, this expertise will help to keep them going,” Raju said after the launching of the country’s second Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW) corvette in the Kamorta Class or Project-28 from the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE).

While announcing modernisation plans for GRSE that would enable it to build larger and more modern ships without cost and time overruns, Raju cautioned against competition from private shipyards.

“Timely delivery of quality ships is the need of the hour. Modern shipbuilding technology and tools must be adopted to achieve this objective. The shipyard must also put in place an effective mechanism of cost competitiveness as there will be increased competition from Indian private sector and the same must be accepted as a challenge,” Raju said.

Asked about reports of Pakistan having ‘siphoned-off’ data from the Indian Army’s Cheetah helicopter that strayed into its airspace near Skardu recently, the minister said that the chopper contained no vital information that may compromise the nation’s security save for inputs that are required to fly the aircraft. On Pakistan’s gesture in allowing the Cheetah and its occupants to fly back to India safely, Raju said: “Pakistan has to do much more to establish itself as a friendly neighbour.”

According to him, the Centre is examining the demand by politicians in Jammu and Kashmir to withdraw the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). “The Act can’t be revoked immediately. After all, it is required to allow the armed forces to function in terror-affected areas,” the minister said.

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Posted by pilotpaul on Oct 26 2011. Filed under All News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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