India's Reliance group announced a tie up with Andhra Pradesh government for building a strategic shipyard on the eastern seaboard of the country, which will be co-located with strategic facilities of the Indian Navy and Department of Atomic Energy.
The facility is said to be co-located with the Indian Navy’s base and BARC’s nuclear facility at Rambilli, approximately 70 Km south of Visakhapatnam.
The new facility would complement the company’s existing facility at Pipavav in Gujarat, with a clear focus on building strategic assets for the Indian Navy. Ambani also urged on the need for development in critical areas of naval defence capability in the region in order to compete with the world.
"Given its critical location, from a geo-political and strategic perspective, on the East coast, and its proximity to India’s Naval establishment, including the Coast Guard, and BARC, Vizag is ideally suited for the manufacture of strategic assets such as nuclear sub-marines and aircraft carriers, critical areas of naval defence capability where we need to catch up with the rest of the world,” Anil Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Infrastructures said.
“Further, nearly 90% of the conventional fleet in the Indian Navy is over 20 years old and due for urgent upgrade and re-fitment,” he said, adding that the country needs at least 23 additional submarines.
Reliance Defence, a unit of Reliance Infrastructure Ltd, plans to construct submarines and aircraft carriers as well as provide services including maintenance and repairs of ships at the Rambilli naval facility.
Reports suggest that even though the land has just been allotted and signed for, with the facilities still to be constructed, Anil Ambani is already looking to secure some lucrative contracts worth over Rs 25000 crores. These include surveillance helicopters, and Naval utility helicopters.
It is estimated that the Indian Navy will spend over INR 3 lakh Crore (US $45 trillion) or nearly INR 20,000 Crore (US $3 trillion) per year, on acquisitions and fleet modernisation of submarines and Aircraft Carriers, over the next 15 years, creating a huge pipeline of opportunity for the proposed world class naval facility, he said.