India markets closed

With many firsts, GRSE has a strong order book: CMD Rear Admiral V K Saxena, (Retd)

Huma Siddiqui
GRSE, Kolkata, Ministry of Defence, Indian Navy, ASWSWC ships, Landing Craft Utility, Project 17A, Landing Craft Utility

Kolkata based GRSE is a ship and warship design and building company under the administrative control of the Ministry of Defence (MoD). Late last year, the state owned company listed on the stock exchanges. The company which has the infrastructure capability to construct 20 ships concurrently has a very strong order book position of around Rs 21,700 crore, has emerged as a leading shipyard of India, building a wide array of vessels, from Fast Attack Crafts to world-class Frigates. It has delivered its 100th warship, thus becoming the first shipyard in the country to achieve this feat. Rear Admiral V K Saxena, (Retd) Chairman & Managing Director, GRSE, Kolkata, shares the company s order book and achievements with the Financial Express Online.

Following are excerpts:

What is the order book of the shipyard today?

Currently, the company has an order book of Rs 21,700 crore approximately equipping the shipyard with a deep pool of revenue-generating projects. Ongoing projects include 14 warships across 5 projects including four Survey Vessels (Large), for Indian Navy won on competitive basis, and are presently under construction. GRSE has also been declared successful bidder in competitive bidding for another eight ASWSWC ships for the Indian Navy.

How many programs is the shipyard working on for the Indian Navy?

GRSE s association with the Indian Navy is long and strong as over the last six decades the shipyard has been building warships and other vessels for the country s Navy and Coast Guard. With 100 warships successfully built, the shipyard already boasts of constructing highest number of warships in the country. Sixty seven of the 100 warships were for the Indian Navy and are varied in their range and scope. From Frigates, Missile Corvettes, Anti-Submarine Warfare Corvettes, Fleet Tankers, Landing Ship Tank, Landing Craft Utility to Survey Vessels, Offshore Patrol Vessels and Fast Attack Craft – the repertoire is rich and varied. At present, GRSE is working on ASW Corvette, P17 Alpha Stealth Frigates, LCUs and four Survey Vessels Programs for the Indian Navy.

Has the shipyard used resources optimally? Any ventures with the private sector and what has been achieved under Make in India initiative?

As part of Make in India initiatives of MoD indigenisation Efforts, GRSE has made commendable progress by successfully incorporating a high percentage of indigenous content into the ships.

INS Kamorta and INS Kadmatt, the first two of Class of 4 ASW Corvettes became the first warships built in the country with indigenously developed warship grade steel-DMR 249A. These Ships have the distinction of achieving over 90 % Indigenous Equipment Fit and hence a major step towards achieving Self Reliance in State of the Art Warship Design and Construction.

INS Kiltan, which was delivered to Indian Navy in October 17, has the unique feature of Superstructure made of Carbon Fibre Composite Material. It is for the first time in the country that such a Composite Material has been integrated with Steel Hull of a Ship and GRSE is the First Shipyard in the Country to have successfully achieved this feat. Regarding the Landing Craft Utility (LCU) class of ships delivered so far, over 90% Indigenous Equipment Fits has been achieved.

The LCU Ships are fully designed in house as per requirements specified by Indian Navy. The yard has achieved 70 % indigenous equipment fit in construction of four follow on WJFACs and 72 % indigenization of the Rail Less Auto Tensioning Winch Wire Helicopter Traversing System on board 3rd ASW Corvette, INS Kiltan. This has helped GRSE win the confidence of all stakeholders.

The Diesel Engine Plant at Ranchi proposes to indigenize manufacturing of 50% of engine parts over the next 4 to 5 years and facilitate assembly of MTU 4000 Series engines from Semi-knocked Down condition to Completely Built-up Unit which are among the best engines in the Category and additionally undertake manufacturing of parts in India.

It has also entered into a strategic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with M/s Cooper Corporation, India for development and manufacturing of small size (50 500 KW) engines for marine application such as Diesel Alternators onboard Naval/ Coast Guard Platforms.

Outsourcing of non- core activities to private players is a business strategy adopted by the company which has helped to optimize the cost of production and aided in focusing & improving efficiencies in the core activities of design and production.

What is the status of three vessels under Project 17A?

GRSE had signed the contract to build three highly advanced stealth frigates in February, 2015 with the MoD for Rs around 19,200 crores and is the biggest order awarded to the company so far. Project 17A frigates are modernized Guided Missile Frigates, to be built with integrated construction methodology and latest stealth features with improved weapon package. As per contractual timelines, the yard is expected to deliver the first frigate by 2023 and next two ships in 2024 and 2025, respectively.

Is the shipyard exporting?

Yes, the Shipyard is into exports. The first ever warship built in India for export was CGS Barracuda an Offshore Patrol Vessel for the government of Mauritius in 2014. The shipyard s Pre-fabricated steel bridges being built by the Engineering Division have been exported to countries like Bhutan, Nepal, and Myanmar and Sri Lanka.