Visakhapatnam-based Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) is expecting an order from the Indian Navy by the year end for building five mammoth naval support vessels with transfer of technology from a Turkish shipbuilding firm, people familiar with the developments said on Monday.
The project, estimated to cost between $1.5 billion and $2 billion, will involve transfer of technology from Anadolu Shipyard, part of the TAIS consortium of Turkey, with which HSL signed an agreement for technical collaboration last year.
HSL is expected to deliver the first fleet support vessel (FSV) to the navy within four years of the go-ahead, with the other ships to be delivered at the rate of one every 10 months to 12 months. The vessels will be 230 metres long and have a displacement of 45,000 tonnes. FSVs carry fuel and other supplies for warships.
“The agreement with the Turkish consortium will kick in after HSL gets an order from the Indian Navy. If all goes well, that could happen by October 2021. Several Indian vendors will also be involved in the project,” said one of the people cited above, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Unlike other massive projects of this type, which usually witness at least one of the vessels being constructed in the country providing the technology and know-how, the Turkish side has decided to go ahead with transfer of technology from the initial stages and back the “Make in India” initiative by constructing all five vessels at HSL, said a second person who too declined to be named.
“Turkey’s shipyards are fully booked for a long time and there is nothing to lose by transferring technology and having all the vessels built in India. Turkish engineers will come to India to assist with the project,” the second person said.
Besides designs, the Turkish consortium will provide engineering services, planning and preparation of specifications, the people said. The transfer of technology will also boost India’s shipbuilding capabilities, they added.