The Defence Ministry of India finalized a landmark contract worth Rs 19,000 crore with Hindustan Shipyard Ltd (HSL). The deal entails the procurement of five cutting-edge fleet support ships (FSS) for the Indian Navy. This acquisition marks a crucial milestone as these vessels, falling under the 44,000-ton category, will be the first to be constructed within India by an Indian shipyard.
Indigenous Advancement in Defence Manufacturing
The project carries immense significance in India's pursuit of self-reliance in the realm of defence manufacturing. The ships are slated to be not only indigenously designed but also meticulously crafted by HSL, based in Visakhapatnam. The signing of the contract took place on August 25, further solidifying this strategic step towards boosting the nation's maritime capabilities.
The acquisition of these fleet support ships gained a critical green light from the Cabinet Committee on Security during its meeting on August 16. This pivotal approval underscored the importance of augmenting India's naval fleet, particularly in terms of the logistical and operational advantages that these ships will provide.
Multi-faceted Utility of Fleet Support Ships
These upcoming fleet support ships are poised to revolutionize the Indian Navy's operational flexibility. Tasked with replenishing ships at sea with vital supplies such as fuel, water, ammunition, and stores, these vessels will enable extended periods of naval activity without the need for recurrent harbor visits. This enhanced endurance is projected to greatly amplify the Indian Navy's blue water capabilities, boosting its ability to operate in far-reaching maritime territories.
Moreover, these ships are also designed to play a pivotal role in humanitarian endeavors. With capabilities for evacuation missions and assistance during disaster relief operations, they reflect the multi-dimensional utility of modern naval assets.
Aside from their strategic advantages, this project promises economic benefits as well. The venture is anticipated to generate approximately 168.8 lakh mandays of employment over an eight-year span, further contributing to the nation's workforce and economic growth.