First private company to get licence to build warships – Reliance Defence and Engineering
In a shot in the arm for the Anil Ambani led Reliance Defence and Engineering, it has now become the first Indian private company to obtain a licence and contract to build warships.This landmark agreement has been inked with the Gujarat Maritime Board and the Gujarat Pipavav Port at Gandhinagar, Gujarat and a pact referred to as sub-concession agreement. Under the signed deal , it grants right and authority to build, operate and manage defence and commercial shipyard activities at Pipavav in Gujarat. The concession originally is for 30 years, expiring in June 2046, but may be further extended, the company added.
Earlier , the Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence has signed an exclusive accord with the global aerospace, defence and transportation major Thales for making in India sonars for surface ships and submarines, as also mine warfare and mine counter-measure equipment, sources said.
In all, the agreement is eyeing immediate deals worth around Rs.10,000 crore.
The sources said this 51:49 equity pact between Reliance Defence and Thales will create critical capabilities in the country and provide modern sytems for the Indian Navy. Thales is said to have discussed a possible tie-up with the Tatas, Mahindras and Larsen and Toubro as well.
The Indian Navy’s immediate requirement include towed array sonars and torpedo decoy systems, which are used for detecting torpedoes and submarines. In mine warfare, the focus is expected to be on high frequency sonars and various methods to destroy mines.
The Indian Navy also needs similar equipment for its choppers. Reliance Defence, a subsidiary of Reliance Infra, had earlier acquired Pipavav Offshore and Engineering and renamed it Reliance Defence and Engineering to execute all the naval warship and systems programme.