The Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL)'s collaboration with M/s Anadolu Shipyard, Turkey for the FSS project estimated to cost of $ 2.3 billion is expected to be put on a hold.
Without citing any reason, speaking to Financial Express Online on condition of anonymity, a senior official confirmed that "The contract for the 45,000-ton fleet support ships (FSS) for the Indian Navy with the Turkish Company could be delayed."
"It could be a fall out of Turkey cosying up to Pakistan and raising Kashmir issue at the recently concluded 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)," said the officer.
It may be recalled that the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had raised the Kashmir issue and had criticised the international community for not paying attention to the situation. On the sidelines of the UNGA, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with leaders of Turkey's strong rivals and close neighbours –Cyprus, Armenia and Greece.
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The Turkish Shipyard was L1 and had technically qualified for the FSS project for the Indian Navy from among three other global companies who were in the race for the construction of five ships. Seven global players had initially responded to the Request for Proposal — the German ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS), Fincantieri of Italy, Navantia from Spain, Rosboronexports (ROE) from Russia and Turkey's Anadolu Shipyard. At the end of the scrutiny only three companies including TKMS, ROE and the Turkish Shipyard was shortlisted.
Though no contract has been inked yet as the analysis of the technical and financial assessment is going on, the Turkish shipyard as part of negotiations is expected to provide ship design, supply key machinery equipment (KME) and provide technical assistance.
On the completion of the evaluation, the second round of negotiations related to the price is on the agenda. This was the first time ever that a Turkish shipyard which is part of TAIS industrial group, participated in any defence contract in India.