Cochin Shipyard Limited said it signed a contract for construction and supply of eight anti-submarine ships for the Indian Navy worth Rs 6,311 cr.
The ships, also known as anti-submarine warfare shallow water crafts, will have a displacement (size) of about 750 tons, a speed of 25 knots and will be capable of full-scale, sub-surface surveillance of coastal waters.
The ships will also be able to launch co-ordinated anti-submarine operations with aircraft.
In terms of class, they will be classified as Corvettes, which are smaller ships compared to Frigates, but larger than patrol boats.
The first ship has to be delivered within 42 months. Subsequently, the shipbuilder will deliver two per year.
“The vessels will have the capability to interdict/destroy sub surface targets in coastal waters. They can also be deployed for search and rescue by day and night in coastal areas.
“In their secondary role, they will be capable to prosecute intruding aircraft, and lay mines in the sea bed,” Cochin Shipyard said.
Cochin Shipyard Ltd, controlled by the government of India, is currently investing ₹2,769 cr in building a new 310 meter long dry dock at Kochi and a shiplift-based ship repair yard at Willingdon Island, Kochi.
The company has several orders from India’s defence forces.
It is building India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier, which it said is in advanced stages of testing and commissioning.
The Kochi-based company is also building a technology demonstration vessel for the Defence Research and Development Organization.
It is also building 1,200 and 500 passenger ships for Andaman & Nicobar Administration and 27 small vessels for clients like Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), Department of Fisheries, Govt. of Kerala and Govt. of Tamil Nadu and Indian Navy.
It also recently won the contract for construction of 4 Mini Bulk Carriers for Utkarsh Advisory Services Private Limited, part of the JSW group, and nine floating border outpost vessels for the BSF from the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The company said it handled 88 repair projects last year; including INS Vikramaditya, INS Shardul and ICGS Samar.
The company recently announced that it wants to expand beyond Kochi, and announced agreements to lease facilities in cities like Mumbai and Kolkata.
Out of these, it has already started its ship repair operations at Mumbai Port Trust, while it is still working to start operations at Kolkata and Port Blair “shortly”.
To tap the new opportunities opened up by the emphasis on inland waterways, the company has formed a joint venture in Kolkata, and creating a new shipyard in Kolkata for this segment.
The government led by Narendra Modi has tried to revive and create inland waterways in India, typically a neglected sector.