‘Indian Navy developing blue water capabilities’

February 19th, 2009 - 8:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Feb 19 (IANS) The Indian Navy is developing blue water capabilities that will enable its ships operate far from their bases for prolonged periods of time, Minister of State for Defence Production Rao Inderjit Singh said here Thursday.
“We want to expand our blue water naval capability that will allow our fleets to operate far from home,” Singh told reporters after inaugurating the modernisation project of state-owned Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE) here.

According to Singh, India has better combat ships than Pakistan but the country’s shipbuilding strategy is not centric to the neighbour.

“The Indian Navy’s combat ships are better and more developed than the ones with Pakistan. But our shipbuilding production strategy is not just Pakistan-centric,” he maintained.

Speaking about the expansion of major shipyards in the country, he said this was being hampered by the growing human habitation around them.

“The human habitation around the existing shipyards is growing so fast that it is difficult to expand and upgrade them. But we need at least 1,000-acre yards to construct state-of-the art naval ships that will have blue water capabilities.”

“We also need to upgrade all shipping yards so that they can construct large naval ships,” Singh added.

The Indian Navy and GRSE will spend over Rs.5.25 billion for the yard modernisation project that includes construction of a 180-metre-long dry dock, an inclined berth of the same length and a large workshop, as also installation of a 250-tonne crane.

The project is planned to be completed in 28 months, after which GRSE will be able to build large amphibious ships like Landing Platform Docks (LPDs)/Landing Helicopter Decks (LHDs).

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