The Indian Navy will check the private firms' eligibility before finalising any deal. (File)
The government is looking at making the country a defence manufacturing hub by involving domestic companies so that dependence on overseas players could be reduced, a top naval officer said today. "At the end of the day, what we are looking at is India becoming a major defence manufacturing hub. Rather than we going out (of the country), others should come in and get their assets built here in India. That is the plan," Controller of Warship Production and Acquisition Vice-Admiral DM Deshpande said.
He was talking to reporters after the launch of indigenously-built Floating Doc (FDN-2) for the Indian Navy at Larsen and Toubro Shipbuilding yard at Kattupalli near Chennai.
The idea of Make in India was to get foreign dependence to a minimum and a strategic partnership programme had been launched in this regard, he said. The navy was examining whether Indian companies have the capacity
to build submarines, non-combat aircraft, fighter jets, helicopters and armoured vehicles.
"We are looking at Indian partners. We will identify the Indian partners as they have to pass through technical and financial gates. So, we are looking at top of the line people," he said.
Admitting that the domestic shipbuilding industry had been in the dump for a while, he said defence shipbuilding in the country presented a huge market
as well as huge challenge, adding the navy wanted private shipyards to ease the load of public sector units.
The navy had chalked out a maritime perspective plan. "We have earmarked which are the ships that need to be built by defence PSUs (public sector undertakings). What we are looking at is private shipyards playing a role and they can ease the load of defence PSUs. So that we can have a load share between defence PSUs and private shipyards," he said.
On the status of the P75(I) submarine project, he said, "It was going on under the strategic partnership plan. First we should be able to get an RFI (request for information). We are in the process of activating the methodologies so that we have the tenders out soon."