The strategic partnership to be finalised between leading shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd of South Korea and Hindustan Shipyard Limited, the Visakhapatnam-based Ministry of Defence Undertaking, will see construction of Fleet Support Ships for the Indian Navy in both the countries.
The agreement is expected to be inked in mid-2018. Talks are in progress between the MoD and its counterpart in South Korea.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited Hyundai in May 2015 during which the issue of mutual cooperation was discussed.
HSL Chairman and Managing Director Rear Admiral L.V. Sarat Babu said on Wednesday that the first ship was expected to roll out in October 2022 from the Hyundai facility in South Korea. Simultaneously, the construction of another FSS would start at HSL with the expert guidance of Hyundai.
“Our plan is to roll out one FSS every 10 months after the delivery of the first vessel from Hyundai,” the CMD told The Hindu.
Such ships are used for replenishment of manpower, weapons, and provisions from one vessel to another.
The total cost of the five FSS would be around ₹9,500 crore, he said. A discussion was held between India and South Korea on the course ahead last month. Timelines and strategies would be finalised shortly. The MoD agreed to place the order for FSS on HSL on nomination basis.
The process of refilling the request for proposal (RFP) on two Special Operational Vessels is now in process.
Rear Admiral Sarat Babu said they would get an order for two SOVs on nomination basis. The value of the order for both the vessels would be around ₹2,500 crore.
SOVs are also known as mini submarines or midgets. The construction of SOVs involves complex technology.
For HSL, it would not be a difficult task as it has proven experience in submarine retrofitting of INS Sindhukirti and other submarines of the Indian Navy.
Now, it has undertaken the contract for retrofitting of INS Sindhuvir.
The refit of Russia-made INS Sindhuvir, an EKM Class submarine, will be completed in 27 months at a cost of ₹500 crore.