Defence Secretary presides over first steel cutting of Fleet Support Ships for Indian Navy

Defence Secretary Shri Giridhar Aramane presided over the first steel cutting of the Fleet Support Ships (FSS) for the Indian Navy at Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) in Visakhapatnam on April 10, 2024. 

The FSS, under construction at HSL, is first-of-its-kind with displacement of 44,000 tons and will play a crucial role in replenishing the fleet at sea with fuel, water, ammunition, and stores, thereby extending the operational capabilities of the Navy and enhancing its strategic reach.

The Defence Secretary also laid the foundation stone for augmentation of slipway and major infrastructure modernisation to enhance capacity and capability of the yard. 

The ongoing infrastructure upgrades, including the installation of a cutting-edge 300T Goliath crane and slipway upgrades, will further enhance HSL’s capacity to undertake FSS and future projects like the Landing Platform Dock, reinforcing its role in meeting the defence and commercial sector requirements under the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative.

In his address, Shri Giridhar Aramane termed HSL as an asset of the government.

He stated that the present shipbuilding trend is showing an upcoming boom in orders from both defence and commercial sector and HSL should be geared up to take on any challenge.

CMD, HSL Cmde Hemant Khatri (Retd) extended gratitude to the Defence Secretary for being a key in the revival of HSL.

He underlined the importance of construction of FSS as it provides business to nearly 550 MSMEs in-and-around Visakhapatnam and employment opportunity to over 3,000 personnel.

The ceremony was also attended by Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command Vice Admiral Rajesh Pendharkar among others.