Kolkata: India's ministry of defence is all set to take over Hindustan Shipyard Ltd, a commercial entity strategically located in the port city of Visakhapatnam on the country's eastern seaboard. The shipyard will now be dedicated to building naval vessels, according to minister of state for defence, Pallam Raju.
The move underlines India's urgency in upgrading defence capabilities, even as it continues to be one of the largest importers of arms in the world today. It is expected that the shipyard will undergo upgrades and modifications enabling it to construct frigates, destroyers and submarines for the navy.
"Hindustan Shipyard is being taken over by the ministry of defence," Pallam Raju, the junior defence minister, said in Kolkata, capital of the eastern state of West Bengal.
"There will be suitable investments regarding alterations and modernisation of the shipyard, suiting the requirement of the Indian Navy," Raju told reporters.
The move to take over the shipyard comes even as other defence shipyards are fully booked with orders for the navy for the first time in decades. Defence planning envisages the addition of 100 warships over the next 10 years in an attempt to expand existing force levels, as well as to replace old vessels.
The country's shipyards are constructing a whole range of naval vessels, including destroyers, submarines, frigates, corvettes and offshore patrol vessels.