India has signed a formal contract, worth $2.3 billion (about Rs 15,000 crore), with Turkey’s TAIS Shipyards to build five 45,000-ton fleet support vessels (FSVs) for the Indian Navy, Economic Times reported.
The contract signing was put on hold in October last year after questions were raised on Turkey’s links with India’s ‘arch-rival’ Pakistan and the recent diplomatic tiff with the Turkish government.
It was announced last year that Turkey’s TAIS had emerged as the lowest bidder for a contract to manufacture five of the FSVs for the Indian Navy. According to the contract, TAIS will manufacture the ships in a local shipyard, the state-owned Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL).
According to the Economic Times report, the contract was signed by HSL last month after clearances were given by the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD). The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) was also reportedly consulted before the decision to go ahead with the deal was taken.
TAIS will be responsible for the modernization of the local shipyard, the design of the ships, engineering services, planning and management of production, preparation of shipbuilding material specifications and main materials.
According to a previous announcement by TAIS, the contract with the Indian Navy was to be officially signed by Anadolu Shipyard (ADiK), a subsidiary of TAIS.
The construction of the first vessel was initially scheduled to begin by the end of 2020, with the first vessel expected to be delivered to the Navy in 2024. The remaining four vessels will be completed in 10-month intervals. It is not currently known if the delay in the contract signing will affect the delivery schedule.
TAIS was founded by the owners of the top five leading shipyards of Turkey, namely Anadolu Shipyard, Istanbul Shipyard, Sedef Shipyard, Sefine Shipyard and Selah Shipyard.