Russia’s Largest Shipbuilder Mulls ‘Make In India’, Allays Fears Over Ukraine Supply Of Marine Engines

New Delhi: United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC), that includes around 40 shipbuilding companies and organizations, has confirmed that Russia no longer has any dependency on Ukraine for naval engines as alternative systems have been developed, the Economic Times reported. It added that Russia’s biggest shipbuilder has “big plans” under the Make in India initiative and is looking forward to setting up a manufacturing hub, with two investment opportunities currently being pursued.Also Read – Ahead Of Independence Day 2022, Salman Khan Waves Tricolor, Bonds With Indian Navy Sailors Onboard INS Visakhapatnam- See Viral Pics

The report quoted Alexey Rakhmanov, head of the USC saying Russia’s dependency on Ukraine for frigates is a ‘history’. Also Read – Indian Navy Tradesman Mate Recruitment 2022: Register For 112 Posts at ncs.gov.in; 10th Pass Eligible

“We don’t have any dependency on Ukraine, that is history now. Should the Indian side choose the Russian engines (for frigates under construction), we will be happy to supply them”, Rakhamanov said. Also Read – Indian Navy Tradesman Mate Recruitment 2022: Apply For 112 Posts at ncs.gov.in| Read details here

The Facts

  • A frigate is a modern warship that is smaller than a destroyer – both being the two most common warships in Navy’s fleet.
  • In November 2018, Russia’s sole state-defense exporter Rosoboronexport reportedly signed a $500 million deal with Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) using technology transfer as part of an Inter-Governmental Agreement between Russia and India. The GSL also entered into a deal with the Ministry of Defense wherein they would be constructing two Advanced Missile Frigates for the Indian Navy. The contract was signed between Ministry of Defense and Goa Shipyard Limited on 25 January 2019.
  • The keel of the second frigate was laid at the Goa Shipyard Ltd on 18 June 2021, the keel of the first ship was laid on 29 January 2021. “The first ship is to be delivered in 2026 and second ship after 06 months”, said Goa Shipyard Ltd.
  • One of the concerns India had was whether the ongoing Ukraine war will impact delivery of gas turbine engines needed to power the frigates being made in Goa. The United Shipbuilding Corporation’s Alexey Rakhamanov said replacements were available, reported the Economic Times. The report also mentions about Russia’s plans to make a large manufacturing hub in India.

Why India needs to work on gas turbine propulsions?

A report published in Indian Defense Research Wing (IDRW), a defense news portal, has said at least 150 of Indian Navy’s ships and vessels are powered by gas turbine engine that are supplied by the Ukrainian company Zorya-Mashproekt. It adds that while the Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) has plans to develop a marine gas turbine engine based on 125kN jet engine with France, it won’t be ready for commercial use for at least 15-20 years.

The IDRW report also said the Defense Research and Development Organization’s (DRDO) attempt to develop a Kaveri Marine Gas Turbine (KMGT) that can generate a propulsion power of 12MW failed to maintain power requirements for longer durations. In a separate report, IDRW said the GTRE will be giving another try to develop 12 MW KMGT with a modified core.

Most of the propulsion systems in Indian Navy are imported. Even though the Make in India initiative has increased the dynamism, indigenization in terms of gas turbines is still at its infancy. The Ukraine war has reminded India the need to be ‘Aatmanirbhar’ in several sectors, with defense being one of the main.

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