VISAKHAPATNAM: Indian Navy chief Admiral R Hari Kumar said that close partnership between the Navy, shipyards, and industry will be key drivers in India’s pursuit of becoming a developed nation by 2047, and by the time Indian Navy will have all platforms indigenous, such as ships, submarines, aircraft, unmanned systems, and others.
Nistar and Nipun, under construction of two indigenous Driving Support Vessels (DSVs), were launched by Kala Hari Kumar, President Navy Wellness and Welfare Association (NWWA) here in the HSL on Thursday. She performed the traditional honour and named these ships. These ships received a thunderous cheer from a jubilant gathering as they embraced the welcoming waters of the Bay of Bengal.
The Navy Chief said that the launching of vessels represents the coming of age of the expertise and experience resident in India’s shipbuilding industry. The first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier INS Vikrant was commissioned at Kochi a few days ago.
Combined together, these ships reaffirm the Indian Navy’s growing stature as a ‘Builders Navy’, and a formidable maritime force capable of undertaking multidimensional and multispectral operations, Admiral Hari Kumar said.
Two vessels, once commissioned, would not only herald a new era in India’s deep ocean diving operations but also enhance the Indian Navy’s stature as a credible force and first responder to undertake critical operations such as submarine rescue operations in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), the four starred officer said. Around 43 vessels are being built indigenously in Indian Shipyards, he added.
The Navy chief said that In its previous avatar as a Submarine Rescue Vessel, INS Nistar, was commissioned in 1971 and played an instrumental role in conducting diving operations on the Pakistan Navy submarine, Ghazi, which sank outside Visakhapatnam harbour during the 1971 Indo-Pak war. The second ship named Nipun was also launched.
The Navy Chief complemented the HSL for remaining a profitable Shipyard since 2016. Completion of projects on time or even ahead of time has been a notable achievement, he said. “The skill, morale, coordination, and cohesion amongst the yard teams are also good. HSL has also undergone a transformation in its processes, Infrastructure, upkeep, landscaping, and others,” he said.
The CMD of HSL Hemanth Khatri said that This project is being executed with support from the Indian industry, primarily 120 MSME firms who have supplied Yard material, equipment, and services. The two vessels launched by achieving 80% indigenous content, a major step towards ‘Self Reliance’. The DSV project has generated local employment opportunities and promoted indigenization which will boost India’s economy.
Strategic Forces Command Vice Admiral RB Pandit, ENC Chief Vice Admiral Dasgupta, Controller Warship Production and Acquisition Vice Admiral Kiran Deshmukh, and other senior officers from the Indian Navy and Ministry of Defence were also present.