India’s state-owned Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) and TAIS, a consortium of five Turkish shipbuilders, have signed an $2.1 billion (INR 160 billion) deal to jointly design and build five 45,000-tonne fleet support vessels for the Indian Navy. Turkey’s TAIS had emerged as the lowest bidder for a contract to manufacture five of the 45,000-tonne FSVs at the Vizag-based Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) last year, but the contract signing was put on hold in October following the repeated raising of Kashmir issue by Erdogan at international forums.
Part of the TAIS industrial group, Anadolu Shipyard will provide the ship design, supply key machinery equipment (KME), and provide technical assistance. Indian Navy fleet support ship could be similar in design to the Pakistan Navy fleet tanker PNS Moawin, which was built by Pakistan’s Karachi Shipyard under a design provided by Turkey’s STM. A significant difference between Indian and Pakistani tankers is the size as PNS Moawin displaces 16,400 tons, compared to the 45,000 tons displaced by Indian FSS.
TAIS will carry out the modernization of the local shipyard, the design of the ships, engineering services, planning and management of production, preparation of shipbuilding material specifications and main materials. Support Vessels are capable of acting as underway supply points or as coastal supply points where harbor installations are not available or safe enough. They provide fuel, food, ammunition and spare parts to ensure the continued operational readiness of Task Groups at all times. The construction of the first vessel was initially scheduled to begin by the end of 2020, with the first vessel expected to be delivered to the Navy in 2024.