In a move to enhance the Indian Navy's fleet replenishment capabilities, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has signed a contract worth Rs 19,000 crore for five fleet support ships (FSS).
These five ships will be built by the Visakhapatnam-based state-run Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL).
Just a week ago (on 17 August), the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) approved the acquisition of five FSSs from HSL.
In a statement, the Indian MoD stated that "It would be a major boost towards achieving the goal of self-reliance in defence manufacturing as these ships will be indigenously designed and constructed by HSL, Visakhapatnam."
The FSSs will be used for replenishing ships at sea with fuel, water, ammunition and stores, enabling the Indian naval fleet to operate for prolonged periods without returning to harbour.
These ships would enhance the strategic reach and mobility of the fleet. The induction of these ships will significantly enhance the blue water capability of the Indian Navy.
The ships can also be deployed for evacuation of people and human assistance and disaster relief operations.
The ships are expected to weigh around 44,000 tonnes and will be the first-of-a-kind ships made in India by an Indian shipyard.
"This project will generate employment of nearly 168.8 lakh man-days over a period of eight years. The construction of these ships will provide a new dimension to the Indian shipbuilding Industry and encourage active participation of associated industries, including MSMEs," the MoD statement said.
With majority of the equipment and systems being sourced from indigenous manufacturers, these vessels will be a proud flag bearer of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ in consonance with the ‘Make in India’ initiatives of the government.
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