The Centre has signed a contract with the Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) for construction of two advanced missile frigates for the Navy, Union Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik said on Thursday. This is the state-run shipyard's largest order so far, he said. The project will be a stepping stone for the Goa Shipyard to construct weapon-intensive and technologically advanced warships in future and will bolster the 'Make In India' objective of the Union government, Naik said.
He was speaking at the launch of an offshore patrol vessel constructed by the GSL for the Indian Coast Guard. Coast Guard's Director-General Krishnaswamy Natrajan and Department of Defence Production Secretary Subhash Chandra were also present on the occasion.
"In recognition of the GSL's performance and capabilities, the Union government has signed a contract with it for construction of two advanced missile frigates for the Indian Navy," Naik said.
"This is the largest order in the history of GSL and I am confident that with the dedication of all workers and management, the shipyard will execute the project in a time-bound and effective manner," he said. The project will ensure work opportunities for a large number of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Goa, the minister said. He said the government has been giving a lot of impetus to exports and a number of favourable policy changes have been made to promote export of defence products.
"I am pleased to see that PSU shipyards such as the GSL are actively involved in exports and closely interacting with a number of Asian and African countries," he said.
"Some of the projects are at advanced stages of conclusion. I urge you (GSL) to continue the momentum and increase your global footprint," the minister said.
He also said that the DefExpo 2020, which is scheduled to be held in Lucknow in February, will also offer an excellent opportunity to showcase the capabilities of India's defence and shipbuilding industry to foreign visitors and promote the export potential.