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Monday, September 22, 2014

Indian Navy commissions final Saryu-class OPV
[Editor: Risk taking  investors can buy Pipavav Defence and Offshsore Ltd at Rs.44 for a target of Rs.51--54, in the short term. Last month there were media reports that Government of India has notified an increase in FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) limit to 49% through approval route in the DEFENSE sector. The move is aimed at boosting domestic industry of the country which imports up to 70% of its military hardware. FDI ceiling in the sensitive defence sector was hiked from current 26%, with the condition that the company seeking permission of the government for FDI up to 49% should be an Indian company owned and controlled by Indians. Further, foreign direct investment proposals above 49% will have to seek the approval of the Cabinet Committee on Security on "case to case basis, wherever it is likely to result in access to modern and state-of-the-art technology in the country," according to the press note of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP)]
Photo: The Economic Times
04 September 2014: The IN claims over 90% of the 105-m long, 2,200 tonne, locally designed OPV is indigenously sourced.

"We have transformed from a buyers navy to a builders navy" IN Chief of Staff Admiral R K Dhowan declared at the commissioning ceremony.

"The blue print for the IN's future is anchored on self-reliance and indigenisation and presently we have 41 ships and submarines under construction in public and private sector shipyards" he added.

Built at a cost of INR7 billion (USD116 million) by Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) and powered by two licence-built SEMT Pielstick diesel engines, Sumitra has a maximum speed of 25 kt, an endurance of 3,240 n miles and can remain deployed for over eight weeks without replenishment, the IN claims. It is capable of embarking one helicopter.

With a 114-member crew, including nine officers, it is armed with an Oto Melara 76/62 Super Rapid Gun, two Russian-made AK-630M close in weapon systems and six chaff launchers.

Its electronic warfare suite comprises the locally designed Sanket Mk III Electronic Support Measure and Israel Aerospace Industries ELK 7036 Communication Intelligence systems.

GSL is building six similar OPVs for the Indian Coast Guard for INR18 billion, deliveries of which are scheduled to begin in October 2015 and be completed two years later.

COMMENT
The IN is also procuring five naval OPVs from Pipavav Shipyard in a deal that has had a tortuous history. Named in June 2010 as preferred vendor to supply the vessels, Pipavav signed a INR29.75 billion (USD553 million) contract with Russia in May 2011 for five naval OPVs. However, the deal ran into problems primarily over price concerns and was terminated some time in 2012.

US firm Alion Science and Technology Corporation said in an investor presentation filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on 19 June 2012 that it was pursuing a "firm-fixed-price contract to design an Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) for an Indian shipyard". Indian sources said that Pipavav had signed a contract with Alion later in the same year.

While Pipavav refused to comment, with a company official saying that "we do not release such privileged commercial details", IN sources said the first of five vessels is scheduled for commissioning around December 2015/early 2016 for a lesser price than that agreed with Russia.

CourtesyIHS Jane's Defence Weekly
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