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Make in India: In a first, Turkish Company to help build FSS for the Indian Navy at HSL

Huma Siddiqui

The Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) is expected to sign a contract with the Indian Navy for the 45,000-ton fleet support ships (FSS) for the Indian Navy in the second quarter of 2020, if all goes well with the ongoing negotiations.

RAdm LV Sarat Babu, CMD of Hindustan Shipyard Ltd, told Financial Express Online in an exclusive interaction that, "The Turkish Shipyard turned out to be L1 and technically qualified for the FSS project for the Indian Navy and is technically qualified. It was down selected from among three companies which had made the cut earlier."

Seven global players had initially responded to the Request for Proposal including the German ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS), Italy based Fincantieri, Navantia from Spain, Rosboronexports (ROE) from Russia and Turkey's Anadolu Shipyard for the construction of five ships under the FSS project at the estimated cost of $ 2.3 billion. Out of these only three including TKMS, ROE and Turkey's Anadolu Shipyard were shortlisted.

According to the CMD of the HSL shipyard, no contract has been signed yet. Detailed analysis of technical and financial assessment is going on. "Once the evaluation is over, and every requirement is met, there will be another round of price negotiations. Then the next stage will be going to the Indian Navy and the Ministry of Defence before the final deal is inked in the second quarter next year."

This will be the first time that a Turkish shipyard will participate in any defense contract in India if it goes through. "Though Anadolu Shipyard is part of TAIS industrial group, the discussions are going on with the shipyard and not the group," Babu specified.

According to officials, the Turkish shipyard is expected to provide ship design, supply key machinery equipment (KME) and provide technical assistance.

The HSL is hoping to follow the best shipbuilding practices and modern technology including the pre-outfitting and modular construction.

The construction of the five ships of about 45,000 tons full load displacement is expected to give not only fillip to the HSL but also to the local industry and other medium and small scale companies. "For the Made in India ships, the components are all going to be Indian, including the steel," said a senior officer.

Besides the job opportunities, the huge project will provide, there will also be a two-fold increase not only in the capacity building of the local industries with blasting, zonal painting, cable laying.