Impressed with GRSE’s capabilities, countries looking at building warships in India

Show: Defexpo India - Day 2 By SP’s Correspondent
Rear Admiral A.K. Verma (Retd), CMD, GRSE

The Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd (GRSE), Kolkata, has made tremendous strides in recent years and the future business prospects are good. INS Kamorta, the first ASW corvette delivered by GRSE, is performing very well and generating keen interest among navies across the world. The second of the class, INS Kadmatt, has also been delivered. Similarly, successful delivery of ‘Barracuda’ to Mauritius has evoked tremendous interest in neighbouring countries. Many countries are now showing keenness to build warships in India.

Blueprint for growth

GRSE is following a well laid blueprint for growth, expansion and diversification to meet the future defence needs of the country. Towards this end, GRSE acquired Raja Bagan Dockyard in July 2006 from CIWTC, to establish a dedicated facility for small ship business. The shipyard has completed a modernisation project with an aim to build quality ships in reduced time frame with modular construction technology. The modernisation project has created state-of-the-art shipbuilding facilities comprising of a 10,000-tonne dry dock, a 4,500-tonne inclined berth and a large module hall with sliding roof for consolidation of mega-hull blocks. All these three major facilities are co-located and covered by a giant goliath crane of 250-tonne capacity, to provide modern infrastructure for integrated modular construction.

Excellent infrastructure

Thus GRSE has created excellent infrastructure and capabilities for in-house design and construction of a wide range of sophisticated warships from fast attack crafts to frigates, to fully meet the needs of state-of-the-art warships for the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard. The modernisation has created necessary infrastructure for construction of state-of-the-art frigates and destroyers in GRSE. This has paved the way for executing the order for super sophisticated frigates under Project P-17A. The capabilities created by GRSE and recent landmark achievements in the area of warship design and construction have created the conditions for good future business prospects for GRSE.

CGS BarRacuda first warship to be exported

GRSE has achieved the distinction of making the first warship to be exported by India. CGS Barracuda exported to Mauritius was specifically designed inhouse by GRSE to perform multiple roles as specified by the customer, the National Coast Guard of Mauritius. The ship has opened a new line of offshore patrol vessel designed for multiple roles. Many countries have evinced keen interest on such ships. GRSE has gained considerable experience while building this first export war vessel of the country.

Further, GRSE built warships have participated in international exhibitions and received rave reviews. Based on the responses and interactions, GRSE is of the opinion that there is a market for GRSE’s products in the developing nations of Far East, Africa, Middle East and Latin America.

Tapping export market

Buoyed by the response to its products, GRSE is concentrating with a focused agenda on the export market for its products such as ‘Landing Ship Tank’, ‘Fast Attack Crafts’, ‘Offshore Patrol Vessels’, ‘Inshore Patrol Vessels’ and ‘Prefabricated Steel Bridges’.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Joint Comisioning of
OPV Barracuda at the Port Louis Harbour in Mauritius on
March 12, 2015

GRSE is participating in the global tender for construction of two frigates for Philippine Navy. GRSE is the only Indian shipyard to have qualified for this international tender, with competition from leading global players.

GRSE has made the initial inroads into the export market, by delivering CGS Barracuda to Mauritius. This achievement is a step in GRSE’s efforts to realise our Prime Minister’s dream of ‘Make in India’, not only to meet the requirement of our armed forces, but also to export warships to friendly foreign nations.

Robust order book

With proven capabilities to design and build state-of-the-art warships and robust order book, GRSE is now poised to grow into a major shipbuilding company. GRSE is actively pursuing its goal to become an integral part of defence preparedness of the country, aimed at self-reliance. GRSE’s aim is to become a leading shipbuilding yard as well as multidimensional engineering company with high quality, competitive prices and timely delivery as our hallmarks.

GRSE has embarked upon a variety of initiatives to meet these challenges. Some of these initiatives are technology and infrastructure upgradation, process improvements, skill development, expansion and development of vendor base and increased focus towards customer satisfaction.

GRSE genesis

The genesis of GRSE dates back to 1884 when it started its journey as a small workshop to repair vessels of River Steam Navigation Company. The company was taken over by the Government of India in 1960 and there was no looking back since then. GRSE was conferred the status of Mini Ratna Category 1 company in 2006.

GRSE’s primary role has been of building warships and other vessels for the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard. Over the years, GRSE has established well proven capabilities for in-house ship design and shipbuilding and has made significant contribution to the success of indigenous warship construction programme. GRSE has emerged as a leading shipyard of India, building a wide array of vessels, from state-of-the-art fast attack crafts to world-class stealth frigates. Apart from shipbuilding and ship repair, GRSE has also diversified into engineering business with product profile of prefabricated steel bridges, various deck machinery and assembly/testing/overhauling of MTU diesel engines.

First indigenous warship built by GRSE

The first indigenous warship of our country, ‘INS Ajay’, was built by GRSE in 1961. The first ever warship built for export by the country, OPV CGS Barracuda, was built by GRSE for Mauritius. This ship was commissioned on March 12, 2015, at Port Louis, Mauritius, on the National Day of Mauritius, in the presence of Prime Minister of India and the Prime Minister of Mauritius. Since 1960, a total of 95 ships have been built and delivered by GRSE to Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard and Mauritius Coast Guard. These include frigates, ASW corvettes, missile corvettes, tankers, landing ships, fast attack crafts, survey vessels, OPVs and many other types of ships.

Best Performing Defence Shipyard Award for four successive years

GRSE has been consistently making profits and paying dividend to the Government of India for the last 22 years, since 1993-94. GRSE has been conferred the ‘Best Performing Defence Shipyard Award’ for 2012-13 and 2013-14 by the Raksha Mantri on January 27, 2016. GRSE had earlier received the same award for 2010-11 and 2011-12 also. Thus GRSE has the unique distinction of being the ‘Best Performing Defence Shipyard’, for four years in a row.

GRSE has also won the prestigious Raksha Mantri’s awards for Import Substitution in developing critical marine systems such as ‘helicopter traversing system’ and innovation in ‘design & manufacturing of double lane prefabricated steel bridge’.