India building two warships in Goa for Sri Lanka



Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, March 9: After delivering a warship to Mauritius for the first time, India will export two warships to Sri Lanka, Minister of State for Defence Production Rao Inderjit Singh said in Kolkata on Saturday.

"From Sri Lanka, we have received an order to build two off-shore patrol vehicles (OPV) and they are under construction in the Goa Shipyard," the minister said on the sidelines of the ceremonial delivery of warship CGS Barracuda to the Mauritian Coast Guard.

He said the ships are entirely indigenously built and there hasn’t been any technology cooperation with any foreign partners.

"This is the first time the export barrier has been breached... This will be the first in the long line of ships that we hope to export from our country... I think the country can feel proud that the ship-building industry has come of age," the minister declared.

CGS Barracuda is an OPV built by the government-owned Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) in Kolkata, and is priced at $58.5 million. The warship completed sea trials last month after which the official hand over process was started.

The 83-crew capacity warship will be used by the Mauritian Coast Guard for anti-piracy and anti-poaching operations. Besides, it is also capable of search and rescue missions, transportation of small detachment of troops and helicopter operations and can handle external firefighting. The warship can also be used for cargo handling.

"The ship is provided with improved habitability and hosts all modern facilities (for the crew) with fully air-conditioned modular accommodation," GRSE Chairman and Managing Director Rear Admiral (retd) AK Verma said.

The GRSE has built 92 warships for the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard since inception, including the country’s first indigenously built warship in 1961.

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