India's Garden Reach Shipbuilders looks to export cutting-edge warships, including stealth anti-submarine corvettes
State-owned warship maker Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd (GRSE) is working on plans to start exporting in a major way its cutting-edge warships.
State-owned warship maker Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd (GRSE) is working on plans to start exporting in a major way its cutting-edge warships. Following enquiries from several countries in South-East Asia, West Asia and South America, it is building capabilities in the latest combat vessels such as stealth anti-submarine corvettes and amphibious landing crafts.
GRSE was the first domestic defence player to export a warship to Mauritius a few years back.
“These are the geographies we are targeting now from where we are getting enquiries. We have the requisite capabilities and we now plan to take our design strength to world-class standards by setting up a centre for excellence,” rear admiral (retired) Vipin Kumar Saxena, chairman-cum-managing director of Garden Reach,told DNA Money.
GRSE is planning to deliver ahead of schedule its first stealth frigate, part of Navy’s ambitious project to replace high technology imports, he said.
The state-owned warship maker sees its order book swelling to over Rs 25,000 crore by year-end with likely signing of some major contracts with the Indian Navy.
“Our current order book stands at Rs 20,700 crore for warships and we are supplying 13 ships to the Navy and Coast Guard. All the five ships for the Coast Guard will be delivered by the end of next year. These apart, we have bagged orders for four large survey vessels and eight ASW shallow-water crafts. With the expected signing of the contracts for these 12 vessels by year-end plus the three stealth frigates, our order book would cross Rs 25,000 crore. Construction of all these 15 ships have to be completed by 2025,” he said.
The stealth frigates, as well as anti-submarine warfare stealth corvettes, are the two most prestigious projects for the Indian Navy that have significantly advanced India’s warfare capabilities.
In 2017, first anti-submarine warfare stealth corvette with a structure made entirely of stealth-grade carbon composite material was supplied while the last of the four is being constructed and is expected to get delivered by the middle of next year.
As for GRSE’s most prestigious order to supply three stealth frigates, the project is ahead of schedule.
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“Construction has started in September (2017), ahead of February 2018 schedule and we are sure of meeting the delivery schedule beginning 2023 till 2025,” Saxena said.
Of the total seven stealth frigates being produced in the country, four are being made by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders and three by GRSE with support from the former.
The shipbuilder and warship engineering services provider, which had built country’s first indigenous warship INS Ajay in 1961, has so far supplied 97 warships to the Indian Navy.
“We plan to hit the century mark by the end of the year. In the last 11 months, we delivered five warships to Navy and will supply 10 more platforms to Navy as well as the Coast Guard by December 2019,” he said.
The draft prospectus for offer for sale by the government filed in March has been approved by marker regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India and the initial public offering is expected in coming days, finance director Sarvjit Singh Dogra said.
Source: DNA Money