Kolkata: Defence PSU GRSE Bags Global Tender For Bangladesh Patrol Boats

Kolkata: Defence PSU GRSE Bags Global Tender For Bangladesh Patrol BoatsPatrol boat (Image via GRSE.in)

Kolkata-based public sector unit Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd (GRSE) has achieved yet another milestone by bagging a contract for supplying six patrol boats to Bangladesh.

GRSE, which started operations in 1884 and was nationalised in 1960, successfully bid against shipbuilders from Europe and Asia to bag the $ 1.8 million contract.

The vessels will be used by Bangladesh for marine surveillance to curb illegal fishing activities and for rescue operations.

GRSE made India’s first indigenous warship--INS Ajay--and delivered it to the Indian Navy in 1961. It was the first Indian shipyard to export a warship--a multi-role offshore patrol vessel, CGS Barracuda--to Mauritius in 2014.

It has also made a fast patrol vessel for the Seychelles Navy and has been exporting prefabricated steel bridges to Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.

Since 1960, GRSE has built more than 104 warships and vessels for the Indian Navy and Coast Guard and achieved the rare feat of making six warships in a record 12 months in 2019-20.

The shipbuilder, designated as a ‘mini ratna’ defence PSU, has achieved 90% indigenisation of anti-submarine warfare corvettes and landing craft utility ships.

GRSE makes missile corvettes, stealth corvettes, frigates, stealth frigates, fast attack crafts, hovercrafts, water-jet fast attack crafts, landing crafts and naval survey vessels.

GRSE chairman Rear Admiral (retired) V.K.Saxena said that the defence PSU is exploring markets in the east and west. It is in talks with the Philippines for manufacturing a sophisticated warship for that country.

The GRSE has a strong order book of Rs 25,544 crore from the Indian Navy and Coast Guard and has set an export target of five billion dollars by 2024-25. Saxena said that the management is “more than confident” of achieving that target.

Saxena said that the current capacity of the GRSE to build 20 ships (eight large and 12 medium-sized) concurrently will be enhanced to 24 ships concurrently.

GRSE has signed an MoU with an Israeli company for making multi-role unmanned surface vessels which will act as minesweepers for the Indian Navy.

The GRSE has already delivered the first of the three P17A stealth frigates under orders from the Indian Navy. Fitted with the BrahMos missile systems, these will be one of the most potent frontline warships of the Indian Navy.

These guided missile frigates are 149 metres long with a displacement of about 6670 tonnes and can achieve a top speed of 28 knots.

The first of these frigates being built at a cost of Rs 19,294 crore--the largest-ever order for the company--was launched in the presence of CDS General Bipin Rawat in mid-December last.

The GRSE has also bagged a contract for making a large ocean-going passenger and cargo vessel for Guyana. It is in talks with the Bangladesh Army for supplying Bailey bridges.

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