New Delhi: The steel cutting ceremony of the Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Watercrafts (ASWSWCs) for the Indian Navy was held on December 1 at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL). Vice Admiral G Ashok Kumar (PVSM, AVSM, VSM) Vice Chief of Naval Staff, Indian Navy declared through video conferencing the commencement of steel cutting of first steel plate for Ship No. BY 523. The steel cutting ceremony is one of the initial milestones in the vessel construction process.
CSL's Chairman & Managing Director (CND) Madhu S Nair delivered the welcome address. Chief of Naval Staff G Ashok Kumar addressed the gathering. Vice Admiral SR Sarma (Chief of Materiel) and other senior officials from the Integrated Naval Headquarters also participated through video conferencing. The senior officials of CSL and Warship Overseeing Team (WOT), Kochi, were also present at the function.
Earlier, on April 30, 2019, CSL had signed the contract for the construction and supply of eight ASWSWCs for the Indian Navy. CSL won this project in a competitive bidding process. The order value for these eight vessels is Rs 6,311 crores. The project is to be completed in 90 months from the date of signing the contract.
These ASWSWC's are designed for a speed of 25 knots and complement of 57 and capable of full-scale sub-surface surveillance of coastal waters and co-ordinated ASW operations with aircraft. In addition, the vessels will have the capability to interdict or destroy sub-surface targets in coastal waters. They can also be deployed for day and night search and rescue in coastal areas. In their secondary role, they will be capable to sue intruding aircraft and lay mines in the sea bed. The vessels will be equipped with highly advanced state-of-the-art integrated platform management systems, propulsion machinery, auxiliary machinery, power generation and distribution machinery and damage control machinery etc. The ASWSWC are also being built to International Classification Society rules, in addition to the owner specific requirements.
These technologically advanced vessels are designed and engineered indigenously and will be equipped with various payloads to cater to the vessels' functions. The vessel will feature stringent signature and stealth technologies to avoid detection by submarines and other surveillance systems. A significant part of the payloads and solutions will be from Indian firms and these vessels once commissioned will showcase the country's Aatmanirbhar capabilities.
CSL is currently investing a total of Rs 2,769 crore in infrastructure augmentation by was of a new 310 Mtr long dry dock at Kochi and a ship lift based Ship Repair yard at Willingdon Island, Kochi.
CSL is expanding geographically and has commenced ship repair units at Mumbai, Kolkata & Port Blair in addition to its Kochi facilities. CSL is also setting up fully owned subsidiary shipyards at Kolkata (named HCSL) and at Malpe, Karnataka (named TEBMA Shipyards Limited) to cater to the construction of small & medium-sized vessels as well as vessels for the Inland Waterways.
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