New Delhi: The ministry of defence on Monday signed a contract with the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE) to build eight Anti Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Crafts (ASWSWCs) for the Indian Navy.

The first ship is to be delivered within 42 months from the date of sigining of contract. The rest of the ships would be delivered at the rate of two per year. The project completion time has been fixed at 84 months from today (April 29, 2019).

The contract is worth Rs 6,311.32 crore. It may be noted that the request for proposal (RFP) was issued by the Indian Navy to defence public sector undertaking (DPSU) Shipyards and Indian Private Shipyards in April 2014, with the GRSE emerging as the successful bidder for design, construction and supply of the eight ASWSWCs. 

These ASWSWCs are designed for a deep displacement of 750 tonnes and speed of 25 knots. They are capable of full-scale sub-surface surveillance of India's coastal waters. 

In addition, these vessels are capable of intercepting/destroying 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, these vessels are capable of intercepting intruding aircraft, and can lay mines on the seabed.

The vessels are equipped with highly advanced state of the art integrated platform management systems including propulsion machinery, auxiliary machinery, power generation and distribution machinery, damage control machinery and so on. These warships will be built according to Classification Society Rules and Naval Ship Regulations and will conform to the latest marine pollution standards of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS).

The GRSE is currently working to make three stealth frigates under the P17A Project, anti-submarine warfare (ASW) corvettes, landing craft utility (LCUs) and four survey vessels (large) for the Navy, and fast patrol vessels (FPVs) for the 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. 

The 100 warships built by the GRSE so far ranges from advanced frigates to anti-submarine warfare corvettes to fleet tankers, fast attack crafts and so on with the shipyard having many firsts to its credit in terms of innovation and design. 

The present project will further consolidate the GRSE’s position as a unique shipyard with all-round capability to design and build ASWSWC warships with state of the art technology.

The design and construction of these ships at the GRSE is another significant milestone in the Make In India initiative of the Modi government.