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Govt signs Rs 19,600-crore deal to buy patrol, missile vessels

The construction of these ships will generate employment of 4.5 million man-days over a period of nine years

Cochin Shipyard

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Ajai Shukla

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In a boost to Aatmanirbharta (self-reliance) in shipbuilding, the defence ministry signed contracts with Indian shipyards on Thursday for building 17 state-of-the-art warships for the Indian Navy for a total cost of approximately Rs 19,600 crore. 

The warships on order include 11 next-generation offshore patrol vessels (NG-OPVs) and six next-generation missile vessels (NG-MVs).

Next-gen offshore patrol vessels

The contract for building 11 NG-OPVs under the Buy Indian — Indian designed, developed and manufactured (Buy Indian – IDDM) category was signed with Goa Shipyard (GSL) and Kolkata-based Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) for a total cost of Rs 9,781 crore.

Of the 11 NG-OPVs, seven will be indigenously designed, developed and manufactured by GSL and four by GRSE. The delivery of these urgently needed warships is scheduled to commence from September 2026.

This acquisition will enable the Indian Navy to maintain its combat capability, specially by discharging various operational missions such as anti-piracy, counter-infiltration, anti-poaching, anti-trafficking, non-combatant evacuation operations, search and rescue and protection of offshore assets, etc., said the defence ministry.

This warship construction order will generate employment of 11 million man-days over a period of seven and half years. 

Each NG-OPV will displace an estimated 2,500 tonnes, making this class of vessel significantly larger and more potent than current OPVs in the navy and Coast Guard.

OPVs are large craft that carry a crew of up to 80-90 sailors, but are much more lightly armed — and therefore much cheaper — than capital warships like corvettes, frigates, or destroyers. For performing tasks that do not require heavy fighting, OPVs offer a far more economical option than using heavily armed capital warships.

Next-generation missile vessels
The contract for constructing six NG-MVs was signed with Cochin Shipyard (CSL) at a cost of Rs 9,805 crore. The delivery of these warships is scheduled to commence from March 2027.  

“The NGMVs would be heavily armed war vessels incorporating stealth, high speed and offensive capability. The primary role of the ships would be to provide offensive capability against enemy warships, merchantmen and land targets,” said the defence ministry.

These warships will be capable of conducting maritime strike operations, anti-surface warfare operations and would be a potent instrument of sea denial for enemy ships, especially at choke points. 

In the defensive role, these ships would be employed for local naval defence operations and seaward defence of the “Offshore Development Area.” 

The construction of these ships will generate employment of 4.5 million man-days over a period of nine years.

The indigenous manufacturing of these vessels will encourage the active participation of Indian shipbuilding and associated industries, including micro, small, and medium enterprises. 

“With the majority of the equipment and systems sourced from indigenous manufacturers, these vessels will be a proud flag-bearer of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.

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First Published: Mar 30 2023 | 8:54 PM IST

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