Reliance Defence, UAE firm pact to make naval ships for GCC

Mumbai, Sep 7 (IANS) Reliance Defence Ltd (RDL), a subsidiary of the Anil Ambani-led Reliance Infrastructure (RInfra), said on Monday it has signed a MoU with Abu Dhabi Ship Building (ADSB) for construction of naval ships for the Gulf Cooperation Council over the next 10 years.

“Under this MoU, RDL and ADSB are investigating the opportunity to set up a strategic partnership for the construction of naval ships – including frigates, destroyers and other specialized vessels – to address the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) over the next 10 years,” said a Reliance Group statement here.

The agreement could also see ADSB delivering maintenance, repair, overhaul and refit services to the vessels, in line with regional requirements, it said.

Abu Dhabi Ship Building is a provider of construction, repair and refit services for naval, military and commercial vessels.

The Reliance Group is likely to use its newly acquired ship-building facilities at Gujarat’s Pipavav for this partnership.

In March, the Reliance Group had announced its acqusition of a 18-percent stake from the then promoters of Pipavav Defence, apart from a 26-percent mandatory open offer.

Pipavav’s facility is at the location by the same name on the Gujarat coast and claims modern, versatile engineering and fabrication facilities with shipbuilding infrastructure that is also suitable for the construction of a wide range of warships and submarines.

The company is said to be a strong contender for a tender, potentially worth Rs.60,000 crore, to build six advanced submarines for the Indian navy along with five other private and state-run firms such as Larsen and Toubro, Pipavav Defence and the state-run Mazagon dockyard.

The MoU follows the joint statement issued during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to the UAE, which highlighted “cooperation and manufacture of defence equipment in India”, the company said.

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