India is going ahead with a whopping $2.3 billion deal with Turkey to manufacture fleet support vessels (FSVs) in collaboration with Turkish shipyard reports the Economic Times.
This project as put on hold after the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan breached diplomatic boundaries and attacked India over its internal policies including Kashmir.
The formal contract was signed days after New Delhi issued a powerful statement renouncing all references made to Jammu and Kashmir in a joint declaration by Turkish and Pakistani leaders – President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and PM Imran Khan.
Turkey’s TAIS had evolved as the lowest bidder for a contract to manufacture five of the 45,000-tonne FSVs at the Vizag-based Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) last year, however, the project was put on hold by the Modi-Government after Erdogan’s persistent rants over Kashmir.
The contract was signed by HSL after approvals were issued by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), said the according to reports by the Economic Times. They said the Ministry of External Affairs was also consulted before the decision was taken.
HSL had been very keen to settle the issue and had penned various letters to the Indian defence ministry. “MoD has instructed HSL to temporarily stall the project in view of a recent diplomatic tiff with Turkey which also led to the cancellation of PM Modi’s visit to Turkey.
HSL inputs regarding the legal and financial implications of cancelling the bid of M/s Anadolu shipyard have been submitted to the MoD,” the ministry told the parliamentary standing committee on defence.
Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL), a Ministry of Defence Enterprise was on-course to sign a contract with a consortium formed by five leading shipyards in Turkey for technical collaboration to construct five Fleet Support Ships worth a whopping $2.3B.
However, due to the Turkish President’s rants against India at the United Nations over Kashmir, the Hindustan Shipyard Limited’s collaboration with Turkish consortium for the FSS project was halted.
“It could be a fall out of Turkey cosying up to Pakistan and raising Kashmir issue at the recently concluded 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA),” said the officer. Earlier, as EurAsian Times reported, Turkish TAIS won a cooperation tender that involves the production of five fleet support tankers of 45,000 tons.
A member of the SAHA Istanbul Defense, Aviation and Aerospace Cluster, Turkey’s largest industrial group that has undertaken important responsibilities for the country’s defence and aviation industries, TAIS will manufacture the ships in a local shipyard as part of the Indian project.
As part of its tasks in the project, TAIS will be responsible for the modernization of the shipyard, the design of the ships, engineering services, planning and management of production, preparation of shipbuilding material specifications and main materials.