SOURCE: IDRW.ORG TEAM
In a strategic move with geopolitical implications, India has silently removed a Turkish shipyard from its Fleet Support Ship (FSS) program due to concerns over its links with Pakistan. The Ministry of Defense recently signed a contract with Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL), Visakhapatnam, for the construction of five indigenously designed FSS marks a significant step towards strengthening India’s self-reliance in defense manufacturing.
The sidelining of the Turkish shipyard in favor of HSL is not just a procurement decision; it carries significant geopolitical implications. Turkey’s active military and technical cooperation with Pakistan, a nation with which India shares a complex relationship, has raised concerns within the Indian establishment. As a result, India has chosen to prioritize its own security interests by opting for a domestic shipyard over foreign collaboration that may have raised questions about allegiance.
The contract, signed on August 25, 2023, comes with an approximate cost of Rs 19,000 crore. The decision to entrust the FSS program to HSL, Visakhapatnam, was driven by India’s determination to maintain control over its strategic assets and ensure the nation’s security interests are not compromised by external affiliations.
The primary role of the FSS will be to provide essential support to naval operations by replenishing ships at sea with fuel, water, ammunition, and stores. This capability enables the Indian Navy to extend its operational reach, allowing naval fleets to remain deployed for prolonged periods without needing to return to a harbor for resupply.
Importantly, the FSS program also aligns with India’s broader strategic goals, enhancing its blue water capabilities and maritime mobility. Additionally, these ships can play a crucial role in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) operations and evacuation efforts during times of crisis.
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