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Hindustan Shipyard Limited Holds ‘Steel Cutting’ Ceremony for First Fleet Support Ship

Visakhapatnam: Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) marked a significant milestone with the ‘Steel Cutting’ ceremony of the first of the five Fleet Support Ships (FSS), held at its facility in Visakhapatnam on April 10, 2024. The event was graced by the presence of Giridhar Aramane, Defence Secretary, along with VAdm Rajesh Pendharkar, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command, Cmde Hemant Khatri (Retd), Chairman and Managing Director of HSL, and other senior officials from the Indian Navy and HSL.

The contract for the acquisition of five Fleet Support Ships was inked with HSL in August 2023, and these vessels are slated for delivery to the Indian Navy, beginning mid-2027. Upon induction, the Fleet Support Ships will significantly enhance the ‘Blue Water’ capabilities of the Indian Navy by facilitating replenishment of fleet ships at sea. With a displacement of over 40,000 tonnes, these ships will carry and deliver essential supplies such as fuel, water, ammunition, and stores, enabling prolonged operations without the need to return to harbour. This enhancement in strategic reach and mobility will bolster the Navy’s operational capabilities.

In addition to their primary role, these ships will be equipped for Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations, allowing for the swift evacuation of personnel during emergencies and the rapid delivery of relief materials in the event of natural calamities.

Highlighting the significance of the project, it was emphasized that the Fleet Support Ship construction project embodies a commitment to indigenous design and sourcing, with the majority of equipment being procured from indigenous manufacturers.

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