In Boost To Indian Navy, Auxiliary Ships Worth Rs 1,800 Crore To Be Procured

| September 29 , 2018 , 11:17 IST

In a boost to the Indian Navy as well as to the Make In India programme, the Navy has confirmed spending of Rs 1,800 crore for the procurement of auxiliary ships such as ferries, crafts and fuel barges over the next 7-8 years, preferably indigenous, a top Navy official said on Friday.  

Rear Admiral Rajaram Swaminathan, Assistant Chief of Material, Indian Navy in Kolkata said that private shipbuilders can play a significant role in manufacturing small auxiliary ships for the Navy and increase indigenisation of defence manufacturing.

"As per the present 15-year Maritime Capability Perspective Plan, the Navy will spend Rs. 1,800 crore to procure auxiliary ships like ferry crafts, fuel barges, tugs and replenishment ships," said Swaminathan.

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The Rear Admiral pointed out that defence public sector undertakings like the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) and the Mazagaon Dock Shipbuilders Limited were well-equipped to manufacture the ships indigenously.

"Manufacturing warships require huge investments and at present, there are no big private players for indigenous manufacturing in this sector," Admiral Swaminathan added.

"We want private players to participate in indigenous manufacturing of warships," he said.

Admiral Swaminathan said that huge funding was required for the research and development of weapons, sensors and electronics, that need to be developed very fast since new technology will soon make exiting ones obsolete.

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The statements from Real Admiral came at the launch of a 1,000-tonne fuel barge manufactured by private builder Titagarh Wagons Limited (TWL), to support aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya in refuelling at anchorage points.

On February 28, the Ministry of Defence approved procurement of personal weapons such as assault rifles, light machine guns and carbines worth Rs 9,435 crore for the Army, Navy and the Indian Air Force.

Around 75 percent of the required products would be procured from Indian firms and that the requirement of personal weapons for troops in operational areas would be addressed through a fast-track process.