The Indian Ministry of Defence has awarded Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Limited (GRSE) a contract to build eight Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Crafts (ASWSWCs) for the Indian Navy.
The contract worth Rs. 6,311.32 crore (around $900 million) was signed on April 29 by Joint Secretary & Acquisition Manager (Maritime Systems) Ravi Kant on behalf of Ministry of Defence and S. S. Dogra, Director (Finance), on behalf of GRSE, in New Delhi.
The RFP for the contract was issued by Indian Navy to Defence Public Sector Undertaking (DPSU) Shipyards and Indian Private Shipyards in April 2014. Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL), which is under the Indian Ministry of Shipping, emerged as the lowest bidder while GRSE, which is under the Indian Ministry of Defence, emerged the second lowest bidder when the tenders for the Rs 12,000-crore ($ 1.85 billion) deal were opened. As per the tender issued by the Navy, the lowest bidder and the second lowest bidder will each build eight crafts at the price offered by the lowest bidder.
The first ship is to be delivered within 42 months from contract signing date and subsequent delivery schedule will be of two ships per year. The project completion time is 84 months.
The ASWSWC vessels will have a length of 70 m and will displace around 750 tons. They will be capable of achieving a top speed of more than 25 knots (46 km/h) and will have a range of 1,800 nautical miles (3,300 km) at a cruising speed of 14 knots.
The vessels will be armed with torpedoes, rockets and two 12.7 mm machine guns in remote weapon stations. They will have a complement of 7 officers and 50 sailors.
The vessels will be capable of full-scale sub surface surveillance of coastal waters, Search Attack Unit (SAU) and coordinated ASW operations with aircraft. In addition, the vessels will have the capability to interdict/ destroy sub surface targets in coastal waters. These can also be deployed for Search and Rescue by day and night in coastal areas. In their secondary role, these will be capable to prosecute intruding aircraft, and lay mines in the sea bed.
The vessels are equipped with highly advanced state-of-the-art Integrated Platform Management Systems (IPMS) including propulsion machinery, auxiliary machinery, power generation and distribution machinery and damage control machinery, etc. These warships will be built as per Classification Society Rules and Naval Ship Regulations and will conform to latest marine pollution standards of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS).
The 16 shallow water anti-submarine vessels will replace the Russian-built Abhay-class corvettes commissioned to the fleet between 1989 and 1991. The ships will complement the larger Kamorta-class ASW corvettes, developed for deep-water missions, in the naval fleet.
The GRSE is currently handling major projects for the Indian Navy such as three stealth frigates under P17A project, Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) corvettes, Landing Craft Utility (LCU)s and four Survey Vessels (Large). The shipyard is also constructing Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs) for the Indian Coast Guard.
The GRSE has been a pioneer warship builder of the nation having delivered the highest number of warships till date since its inception as a DPSU in 1960, said an Indian MoD statement. The 100 warships built by GRSE so far ranges from Advanced Frigates to Anti-Submarine Warfare Corvettes to Fleet Tankers, Fast Attack Crafts, etc. with the Shipyard having many firsts to its credit in terms of Innovation and Design, the statement added.