Turkish shipbuilding firm Anadolu Shipyard will assist Visakhapatnam-based Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) with transfer of technology to build five mammoth fleet support vessels for the Indian Navy, reports Hindustan Times.
In 2020, HSL signed an agreement for technical collaboration with Anadolu Shipyard, part of the TAIS consortium of Turkey, for technology transfer to the project estimated to cost around USD two billion.
“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 familiar with the development.
“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.
The fleet support vessels (FSV) carry fuel and other supplies for warships, they will be 230 metres long and have a displacement of 45,000 tonnes. HSL will deliver the first FSV to the Indian Navy within four years of the go-ahead.
Maritime affairs expert Rear Admiral (retired) Sudarshan Shrikhande said that there is a need for the navy to have fleet support ships.
“Turkey under President Erdogan has focused on building commercial relations with all countries. This pragmatism is being seen in this effort to collaborate with India despite the proximity with Pakistan. India wants to build its naval capabilities and Turkey has a defence industry that is very advanced,” said Sameer Patil, fellow for international security studies at Gateway House.
India’s economic engagement with Turkey saw new momentum in recent years. Bilateral trade grew 22 per cent to cross USD 8.6 billion in 2018. India ranked sixth in Turkey’s overall imports in 2018.