January 21, 2016 1:55:17 am
Work on with its order book full and set to grow, state-owned shipbuilder Mazagon Dock Ltd (MDL) expects that its collaboration with Italian shipbuilding firm Fincantieri will help it improve efficiency and processes, said Rear Admiral Rahul Kumar Shrawat (Retd), Chairman and Managing Director of MDL.
Fincantieri has been contracted by the MDL for technical collaboration on Project 17A, comprising seven stealth frigates for the Indian Navy. Four of these are being built by MDL, and three by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers. “We will be using an integrated construction methodology. Construction begins next year. It is a two-year build period,” Rear Admiral Shrawat told The Indian Express.
He said the cooperation with foreign shipbuilders helped augment capacity through improved processes. “We have already modernised ourselves, improved efficiency, in order to do things faster. The collaboration will further boost that,” said Rear Admiral Shrawat.
The stealth frigates under Project 17A being built in India have been seen as a boost for the Make in India initiative through a focus on domestic defence manufacturing.
Asked if he sees Indian shipbuilders ever exporting, Shrawat said the capability was certainly available at institutions such as Mazagon Docks Ltd, but the reality was that the government’s point of view would naturally be to utilise indigenous capacity first for the large and growing requirements of the Indian Navy. “If any country were importing frigates and destroyers, we would be a worthy competitor given that we build world-class ships,” he said, adding that licencing norms for weapon intensive platforms and the fact that Indian ship builders were already busy with orders for the Navy would have to be considered.
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