Interview | Chairman and managing director, Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd, Commodore Rakesh Anand (retd)

‘For the current frigate programme, MDL is resorting to integrated construction methodology wherein the ships’ blocks are pre-outfitted in the shop itself’

Chairman and managing director, Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd, Commodore Rakesh Anand (retd)

What does the current order book of MDL look like?

MDL’s current order book position is Rs 45,431 crore for the major warship platforms i.e. P75 submarines, P15B destroyers and P17A frigates. This will be executed up to 2025.

 

On P-75 (India), there is a perception that the longer the government delays the selection of a strategic partner, brighter will be MDL’s chances of being selected. Are you in touch with the ministry of defence (MoD) for this programme?

We are in touch with MoD and considering that we are the only Indian yard to have built submarines in the past and building them presently too, we should be the preferred choice with our spare capacity.

 

If MDL is indeed selected as strategic partner for submarines, will it need further upgradation or is the new submarine yard fully-equipped for the New-Gen submarine?

MDL has augmented infrastructure through a new wet basin, cradle assembly shop (CAS) and submarine section assembly (SSA) workshop with an investment of approximately Rs 1,000 crore in anticipation of future submarine orders. MDL possesses experienced and trained manpower, skill set and a developed strong vendor base for present submarine programme which is readily available for future projects. Further augmentation, if any required, can be undertaken in a very short time-frame.

 

Is MDL involved in some way in the DRDO’s AIP programme or do you expect to get involved in it?

Yes, we are involved. Originally, Defence Research and Development Organisation’s Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) was envisaged to be installed in boat five and six of Project 75. Therefore, MDL had been actively involved with DRDO and the Indian Navy for development of indigenised AIP. DRDO and the Indian Navy have indicated MDL as a lead integrator for indigenously developed AIP for conventional submarines.




How much of the modular shipbuilding concepts has MDL been able to embrace so far?

For the current frigate programme, MDL is resorting to integrated construction (IC) methodology wherein the ships’ blocks are pre-outfitted in the shop itself. In this regard, MDL has entered into a contract with Fincantieri S.p.A, Italy, a leading European Shipyard, which has been using IC methodology for warship construction for nearly three decades. MDL has adopted the IC concept and is following build plan, build strategy and modular concept for P17A ships under the guidance and technical assistance of Fincantieri, who have been appointed as a ‘know how provider’ (KHP). While in the first ship of the series, the IC methodology will not be able to fructify in full bloom, it is envisaged that the methodology will mature with a good learning curve for follow-on ships. As such MDL has embraced the IC modular approach and all future vessels will be constructed using this methodology. Also, P75 programme is a fully modular building concept.

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