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Delivery of INS Kamorta next June

S. Anandan

Kochi: INS Kamorta, the first in a series of four anti-submarine corvettes being built by the Kolkata-based Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE), a defence shipyard, will be delivered to the Navy in June 2012.

Talking to The Hindu here recently, Rear Admiral (retd.) K.C. Sekhar, Chairman and Managing Director of the shipyard, said the construction of the ASW vessels was on schedule. “We are also gearing up to launch the second vessel in the series this September.”

The shipyard, he said, was also constructing eight inshore patrol vessels for the Coast Guard. “We have also concluded negotiations with the Navy for construction of eight-Landing Craft Utility (LCU) for which contract will be signed shortly.”

On the offshore patrol vessel being designed and built for the Mauritius Police, he said the laying of keel for its first block would take place in September. “Although the contractual delivery period for the 75-metre-long, 1,200-tonne vessel is 42 months, we are trying to advance it.”

According to Rear Admiral (retd.) Sekhar, the construction of the Car Nicobar-class fast attack crafts (FAC) for the Navy would end this month when the shipyard would deliver the last vessel — the 10 {+t} {+h} — in the series. The shipyard was also eager to bag the contract from the Navy to build, in tandem with Mazagaon Dock Ltd., seven stealth frigates under project 17 A.

“They will be bigger than the Shivalik [class of stealth frigates], with more advanced weapon fit and better stealth features. The clearance for this is expected by year-end. We are also anticipating a follow-on order from the Navy for FACs. The FACs we have delivered have done exceedingly well and are of tremendous use in anti-smuggling, anti-poaching and anti-piracy operations,” he said.

He said the ongoing modernisation drive would help the shipyard speed up the construction of vessels. “We do integrated modular construction and with the new facilities, we can double our capacity to simultaneously build bigger ships.”

The yard, he said, had strengthened its Engineering Department, which had patented an easy-to-install portable steel bridge. “It's in high demand from the Border Roads Organisation as well as in the power sector. We got a turnover of Rs. 60 crore from this last year.”

The fully automated indigenous Common Helicopter Traversing System that the shipyard developed with technical support from the U.K.-based Mactagart Scott would be installed on the helicopter deck of the ASW corvettes under construction.

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