‘Steel Cutting’ ceremony of first of the five Fleet Support Ships (FSS) was held at Hindustan Shipyard Limited, Visakhapatnam on 10 Apr 24, in presence of Shri Giridhar Aramane, Defence Secretary. VAdm Rajesh Pendharkar, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command, Cmde Hemant Khatri (Retd), Chairman and Managing Director, HSL and other senior officials from Indian Navy and HSL were present for the occasion.

Contract with HSL for acquisition of five Fleet Support Ships was signed  in Aug 2023 and the ships are scheduled to be delivered to the Indian Navy, commencing mid-2027. On induction, the Fleet Support Ships will bolster the ‘Blue Water’ capabilities of the Indian Navy through replenishment of fleet ships at sea. The ships, with more than 40,000 tonnes displacement will carry and deliver fuel, water, ammunition and stores enabling prolonged operations without returning to harbour, thus enhancing the Fleet’s strategic reach and mobility. In secondary role, these ships would be equipped for Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief operations for evacuation of personnel in emergency situations and quick delivery of relief material at site during natural calamities.

With a completely indigenous design and sourcing of majority of the equipment from indigenous manufacturers, this shipbuilding project will boost the Indian Shipbuilding Industry and is in consonance with GoI initiatives of Aatmanirbhar Bharat, Make in India and Make for the World.

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