MoD signs Rs 19,600 cr contracts with Indian shipyards for next generation vessels Ship’s crew

In line with the “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” government’s vision, the Defense Ministry on Thursday signed deals with Indian shipyards to acquire 11 next-generation offshore patrol vessels and six next-generation missile vessels at a cost of nearly 19,600 rupees, officials said.

Of the 11 vessels, seven will be locally designed, developed and manufactured by Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL) and four by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata, the ministry said in a statement.

Delivery of the ships is scheduled to begin in September 2026, it said.

“In a tremendous push to achieve ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in defence, on March 30, 2023, the Ministry of Defense signed contracts with Indian shipyards for the acquisition of 11 next-generation offshore patrol vessels and six next-generation missile vessels at a total cost of c. Rs 19,600 crore,” the statement said.

The contract for the acquisition of 11 next-generation offshore patrol vessels in the Buy (Indian-IDDM) category has been signed with GSL and GRSE at a total price of Rs 9,781 crore, it said.

The acquisition of these ships will allow the Navy to maintain its combat capability and meet various operational needs, such as offshore assets, the statement said.

The construction of these ships will generate employment of 110 lakh man-days over a period of seven and a half years, he added.

The contract for the acquisition of six Next Generation Missile Vessels (NGMV) has been signed with Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) at a price of Rs 9,805 crore. Deliveries of the ships are scheduled to begin in March 2027.

“The NGMVs would be heavily armed warships with stealth, high speed, and offensive capabilities.

The main role of the ships would be to provide offensive capabilities against enemy warships, merchant ships and land targets,” the statement said.

These ships will be capable of conducting naval assaults and anti-surface warfare operations, and would be a “potent tool of sea denial for enemy ships, particularly at bottlenecks,” it said.

In the defensive role, these ships would be used for local naval defense operations and the seaward defense of offshore development areas.

The construction of these ships will generate employment of 45,000 man-days over a period of nine years, it said.

Indigenous manufacturing of these vessels will encourage the active participation of Indian shipbuilding and related industries, including MSMEs.

With the majority of the equipment and systems coming from local manufacturers, these ships will become a proud flag-bearer of “Aatmanirbhar Bharat,” the ministry said.

The ministry also on Thursday signed contracts for the procurement of an upgraded Akash weapons system and 12 Swathi (Plains) weapon detection radars (WLR) for the Indian Army at a total cost of over Rs 9,100 crore, another statement said.

The contract for the procurement of an improved Akash Weapons System (AWS) for the 3rd and 4th Army Air Defense Regiments consisting of live missiles and launchers with upgrades, ground support equipment, vehicles and infrastructure valued at over Rs 8,160 crore has been awarded signed with Bharat Dynamics Limited, it said.

The AWS is a short-range surface-to-air missile (SRSAM) air defense system designed and developed by the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) itself.

To counter aerial threats, two additional AWS regiments will be procured with upgrades for the Northern Borders army. Upgraded AWS features seeker technology, reduced footprint, 360-degree engagement capability and improved environmental parameters, the ministry said.

The project will notably provide a boost to India’s missile manufacturing industry and the domestic defense manufacturing ecosystem overall. The project has an indigenous share totaling 82 percent, which is set to increase to 93 percent by 2026-27, it said.

The introduction of the improved AWS into the Indian Army will increase India’s self-sufficiency in terms of short-range missile capabilities. This project will play a role in boosting the overall economy by avoiding the outflow of valuable foreign exchange to other countries, expanding employment opportunities in India and encouraging Indian MSMEs through component manufacturing, the statement said.

Around 60 percent of project costs will be contracted out to private industry, including MSMEs, to maintain the weapon system’s supply chain, thereby creating large-scale direct and indirect jobs, officials said.

The contract for WLR Swathi (Plains) has been signed with Bharat Electronic Limited (BEL) at a cost of over Rs 990 crore.

“It is an indigenous WLR capable of locating cannons, mortars and rockets firing friendly troops, thereby facilitating their destruction by counter-fire with friendly firepower resources. This allows troops to carry out their mission duties without enemy interference and also provides them with security from enemy fire. The rollout is expected to be completed in 24 months,” it said.

This project is a great opportunity for the defense industry to demonstrate its capabilities and will be a step toward achieving the “Aatmanirbharta” defense goal, the ministry said.

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