India’s State-run lead warship builder Mazgoan Dock Limited will deliver the first of four vessels in its advanced stealth guided-missile destroyer, INS Visakhapatnam, to the Indian Navy Western Fleet by March 2022 next year. Around the delivery of the destroyer, the shipyard will also hand over the fourth and fifth boat Scorpene-class submarines, INS Vela and INS Vagir, by that first quarter of the year.
MDL is one of largest warship builders in South Asia, which has been busy with loads of capital warship building for the Indian Navy, including Project 15B Vishakhapatnam class Destroyer, Scorpene class submarine and Project 17A Nilgiri Class stealth guided missile frigate.
“The destroyer (INS Visakhapatnam) was to be delivered by March. There was a force majeure allocated by the government for a duration of four months. We are still falling short of three months. We have already strongly taken this with the government and within those four months the situation did not improve and it continued till October 30 and we were able to open the shipyard fully only by November 1,” said Narayan Prasad, chairman and managing director, MDSL.
“Whilst there has been an impact on account of the precarious situation created by this lockdown and also the stoppage of industrial oxygen supply, all this has resumed by and large to a normal standard and we should be able to catch up with whatever there is,” he added.
Around 40 advanced vessels, including nuclear submarines, are in the construction phase for the Indian Navy, and by 2030 the Indian Navy will be a 200+ ship operating force with two active aircraft carrier forces that include sizeable advanced state-of-the-art warships under service in the Indian Ocean.
With keeping in mind China’s rapid expansion, the Indian Navy is making sure to keep the balance of power in the Indian Ocean towards the regional power. Recently, the Ministry of Defense approved the construction of another six submarines under Project 76i worth $5 billion. By next year, the Indian Navy will be operating the first ship of Vishakhapatnam class and the first homebuilt Aircraft Carrier, INS Vikrant.