Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers to build ocean-going tug for Bangladesh Navy

The Bangladesh Navy earlier this week signed a deal with India’s Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) for an 800-tonne ocean-going tug.
July 10, 2024 | 07:00
Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers to build ocean-going tug for Bangladesh Navy

This is a major contract to be signed under a $500-million line of credit offered to Bangladesh by New Delhi for the purchase of defence equipment.

The agreement was signed last Sunday (June 30) in Dhaka by representatives of the Bangladesh Navy’s directorate general of defence purchases and GRSE to coincide with a four-day visit by the Indian Navy chief, Admiral Dinesh K Tripathi, aimed at bolstering bilateral defence ties and to explore new avenues for naval cooperation, as per reports.

The ship worth approximately $21 million will be delivered to Bangladesh within 24 months as per the contract.

India has been closely looking at expanding its defence foothold in the markets of foreign countries, including Bangladesh, as per reports.

GRSE, last month, signed an agreement with Germany’s Carsten RehderSchiffsmakler, and Reederei GmbH & Co for building four multi-purpose vessels of 7,500 DWT each.

The shipbuilder has earlier exported an offshore patrol vessel and a fast patrol vessel to Mauritius and Seychelles respectively.

Earlier in February, a senior official of Mumbai's Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd. (MDSL) said that the Indian shipbuilding industry will have a huge market for commercial vessels from Europe, France, Greece and the Middle East in the next five years.

In India, there are 52 major shipbuilding industries, including both public and private units.

As per officials, India accounts for about 20 percent of the market demand for commercial vessels worldwide.

According to a report by Press Trust of India (PTI) published in 2022, Defence PSU GRSE, which built three advanced stealth frigates under Project 17A for the Indian Navy, was making seven vessels for foreign countries.

Besides making six patrol boats for Bangladesh, the Kolkata-based shipbuilder constructed an ocean-going and cargo ferry vessel for Cooperative Republic of Guyana, PTI reported then, quoting a senior official.

According to Delhi-based independent global think tank Observer Research Foundation (ORF), the transformation of India’s naval shipbuilding capability has been a recurring theme in Indian maritime discussions.

Since the 1960s, when the Union Ministry of Defence (MoD) acquired a number of shipyards in the county and took the milestone decision of building the Leander-class frigates at the Mazagaon Dock Ltd (MD) in Mumbai, the Indian Navy has been invested in the development of an indigenous shipbuilding ecosystem, as per ORF.

Indian naval ship production endeavor, over the years, has made steady progress, contributing significantly towards fulfilling the country's navy's shipbuilding requirements.

India has been aiming to grab more overseas deals to export more "Made in India" vessels to foreign nations.

According to a report by The Maritime Executive published in November last year, India has signed a deal to build 24 river-sea class cargo ships for Russia by 2027 as Moscow continues to seek new outlets to support its struggling shipbuilding industry.

The Russian shipbuilding sector has taken a major hit as the country is facing a number of sanctions from the West due to the ongoing war in Ukraine.

The 24 ships for Russia will be constructed at the state-owned Goa shipyard, as per reports.

The Indian government has separately announced its intent to expand its shipbuilding sector seeking to be a global player that is well-timed with Russia's needs, as reported by The Maritime Executive.

Citing senior Russian officials, it reported that the 24 ships being built in the Indian shipyard include chemical carriers, bulk carriers and container ships.

Earlier this week, senior officials in the Indian government said that the country's shipping ministry will soon come up with a new shipbuilding and repair policy under the 100-day action plan.

PTI reported, quoting top government officials, that the Maritime India Vision 2030 (MIV 2030) aims to move the country's shipbuilding and ship repair ranking into top 10 globally, while Amrit Kaal Vision 2047 (Prime Minister Modi's vision 2047 for 'New India) sets an even more ambitious goal of reaching the top five.

According to a statement from the Union Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways (MoPSW), its strategic vision reflects the Indian government's commitment to transforming India into a global maritime powerhouse, and this ambitious goal is part of a comprehensive strategy to enhance the country's maritime infrastructure and capabilities.

Tarah Nguyen
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