Versatile Designs for OPV, Corvette and Light Frigate
The suggested consortium can easily get ready the basic designs of the above types of warships keeping the features versatile to adapt to the customer requirements. The cost of typical OPV, corvette and light frigate could be US$100 million, US$ 250 million and US$ 350 million respectively.
India’s Capability in Design and Building of Warships
Some typical warships designed and built in India are depicted in the 3D images in this paper. These highlight the capabilities of India in the field of warship design and construction.
Range of Indian Naval Products for Export
These can be grouped into three categories; Naval Marine Systems, Naval Combat Systems, and the Complete Naval Units eg OPVs, Corvettes, Light Frigates.
Prospects for Export of Indian Naval Marine Systems
These include main propulsion systems with diesel engines, gear boxes, shafting and complete stern gear, steering gear, stabilisers, pumps, compressors,switchboards/EDCs/APMS/degaussing systems, deck machinery, helo landing grids/helo traversing systems/hangar shutters and IPMs etc. The Indian Consortium needs to project/present these systems for fitment in the new design/construction of ships. This requires aggressive marketing through local lobbyists with the respective navies, indigenous shipyards and foreign international players who have bagged the orders to urge them to consider Indian marine naval systems for fitment in the new ships. The success can be achieved in countries which do not have the facilities for making these systems. All these countries are now alive to making indigenous efforts.
Therefore, it will be a means to surer success if the Indian Consortium collaborates with the respective industry for gradual and progressive indigenisation in their country with TOT from the Indian industry and guarantee to keep the supply chain for major vital parts alive. This involves identifying suitable industry in the respective country who have influence with decision makers.
Prospects of Export of Indian Naval Combat Systems
The Indian Consortium can project the missiles, missile delivery systems, torpedoes, RBUs, ASW delivery systems, radars, sonars, communication and early warning systems, CAIO, etc. It will be required to work through the supplier of missiles, torpedoes and sonars. The efforts with international players in this arena will need to be pursued, otherwise, we would have to depend on the limited choice of indigenous SSM,SAM and torpedoes.
Prospects of Export of Complete Units
The Indian Consortium needs to evolve a versatile concept design of an OPV, corvette and light frigate. These basic designs can be presented and subsequently developed to suit the customer requirements. Such versatile designs could be based on Navy ships or collaboration with international player or Indian Consortium’s own initiative ab nitio. In the latter case, the consortium will have to incur some expenditure for design-up -to-model tests. This approach will be more lucrative, and amount of export business will be large, and restricted not only to few systems.
Ladder to Success
Firstly, the formation of the Consortium Shipyard + MOD/Navy needs to be formalised, and a core group instituted and authorised to co-ordinate export related activities. Secondly, contact needs to be established in the regions of potential export market (in this case; Indonesia– Malaysia–Thailand; Saudi Arabia–UAE–Oman; Latin American countries) by making presentations, appointing/collaborating with suitable local persons/agencies/industry to represent the Indian Consortium in the respective countries of interest, and make frequent visits to keep abreast with the customer requirement.
Thirdly, the Indian Consortium needs to have a full fledged website depicting our capability in design and building of warships, and also of the ancilliary industry to supply the various systems, machinery, equipment and fittings for the ships. Fourthly, there will be need for aggressive marketing through local lobbyists with respective navies, shipyards and industries. Fifthly, the international weapon system suppliers will have to be kept as our consortium partners. Sixthly, it will also entail evolution of versatile concept designs for OPV, corvette, light frigate on our own, or through suitable collaboration with international players. These designs could be presented and discussed with the prospective customers in anticipation. Last but not the least, exports are reflection of the internal orders and there is need to adopt strategy to ensure that the Indian Navy’s requirements are supplied through Indian industry, even if there is collaboration with leading international players.