Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday, August 28, said India has ''great scope'' to become an indigenous ship-building hub. He pointed out that the Centre has introduced policies to help the domestic industry become world-class.
Addressing an event to mark the commissioning of the Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) 'Vigraha,' the last of the seven Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs), the defense minister said in the next two years, the expenditure on security around the world will reach USD 2.1 trillion. He said, ''Most of the countries do not even have this level of budget for a whole year. And it is expected to increase manifold in the next five years. In such a situation, today we have great scope to make full use of our capabilities, take advantage of policies, and move towards making the country an indigenous shipbuilding hub.'' He added, ''I am happy to say that considering these possibilities, the government has already brought out such policies which help our domestic industry, be it public or private sector entity, to become world-class players, adding within seven years of signing this agreement in 2015, not only launch but also the commissioning of all these seven vessels has been completed today.''
The 98-meter vessel, with a complement of 11 officers and 110 sailors, has been designed and built indigenously by Larsen & Toubro Ship Building Limited. It is fitted with advanced technology radars, navigation and communication equipment, sensors, and machinery capable of operating in tropical sea conditions, a Defence statement said.