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Private sector should build shipyards: navy chief

The chief Admiral seeks initiatives by the private sector to construct shipyards to enhance domestic shipbuilding capabilities.

delhi Updated: Apr 18, 2007 11:42 IST

Aiming to make the Indian Navy a "builder's navy" through indigenisation, its chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta has sought initiatives by the private sector to construct shipyards and other facilities to enhance domestic shipbuilding capabilities.

"In so far as the navy is concerned, it is an issue that we are pushing extensively. It is not merely warship- building that needs acceleration, but shipbuilding as a whole," he said.

"Private sector initiatives in terms of greenfield shipyards, as also by way of capacity enhancements in PSU yards, needs to be strongly encouraged and the navy is actively engaged in the facilitation of these processes."

As many as 32 ships and six submarines are currently being built in shipyards across the country and "the commitment of the Indian Navy to indigenous construction is obvious", he said in an interview to Indian Defence Review to be carried in the premier journal's forthcoming issue.

Asked how the navy will participate in the nuclear triad and what kind of platforms could be required for this, Mehta said his force was the "stated third leg" of the triad and "submarines are the obvious option".

But the class or classes of submarine that will be selected and inducted has not yet been decided upon. "Obviously, we would need to carefully consider every available option and its overall ramifications. This process of careful consideration will continue until the final choice is made by the government," Mehta said.

The navy is exploring a variety of propulsion technologies for its surface and sub-surface platforms, he said.

"We are engaged in a number of design experiments in this regard, many of which deal with advanced technologies. These design experiments are proceeding satisfactorily and we will incorporate such of these designs as are deemed to be suitable, all in the fullness of time," Mehta said.

Referring to private sector participation, he said an "Indigenisation Perspective Plan", which gives a roadmap for modernisation up to 2020, was being executed and India's private sector was entering into a number of new partnerships with global players on one hand and the navy on the other.

Mehta said the government was taking urgent steps to review the Hindustan Shipyard Limited and the Hooghly Dock and Port Engineers Limited, while Goa Shipyard is setting up a new building dock and a ship-lift system and Mazagon Docks is trying to acquire an additional wet basin.

In the private sector, ABG Shipyard and Bharati Shipyard are actively engaged in capacity enhancement. "I understand that ABG Shipyard has, in fact, already commenced mobilising funds for its greenfield project in Surat," Mehta said.