Cochin Shipyard Ltd. successfully launched three anti-submarine warfare shallow-water crafts or corvettes simultaneously, demonstrating its commitment to executing the Rs 22,000-crore order book within the stipulated timeframe. In 2019, the civilian and defence shipyard secured orders for eight corvettes, with a total value exceeding Rs 5,500 crore.
Chairman and Managing Director at Cochin Shipyard, Madhu Nair, revealed that the project faced challenges, with the bid process initiated in 2014 and concluding with the contract in April 2019. Nair shared this information during an interview with BQ Prime on the sidelines of the launch. "This was followed by Covid and currency depreciation. We bid for this with aggression, which is Rs 100 crore lower than the L2 bid, and we still made money on this contract."
Three vessels of the Mahe Class, namely INS Mahe, INS Malvan, and INS Mangrol, named after historical Indian ports, are set to replace the existing Abhay Class ships. The recently launched corvette is scheduled for fitment and completion over the next 12-18 months before being officially handed over to the Indian Navy.
"We should be able to complete the first corvette by November 2024," said Nair, adding and rest two in another six months. Following the commissioning of INS Vikrant last year, the simultaneous launch of three ships underscores Cochin Shipyard's capabilities, according to the company's statement. Cochin Shipyard currently holds an order book totaling Rs 22,000 crore, with nearly Rs 16,600 crore dedicated to defence orders.
Additionally, the shipyard has secured orders for the next-generation warfare ship, valued at over Rs 9,800 crore. Madhu Nair, the Chairman and Managing Director, stated that technical and engineering work for the next generation of warfare ships is already in progress.
Cochin Shipyard, the first civilian shipyard in India to secure the indigenous aircraft carrier order in 2009, has commissioned INS Vikrant into the Navy in 2022 and now seeks a second order for a similar vessel from the Defence Ministry.
Anticipated to convene this week, the Defence Acquisition Council is set to approve the proposal, including new orders for 93 Light Combat Aircraft - Tejas for Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.
In recent guidance, Cochin Shipyard projected closing the financial year 2023-24 with revenue nearing Rs 3,400 crore and margins ranging between 18-19%.
Image source: BQ Prime