Reliance Defence and Engineering Limited has signed a contract worth Rs 916 crore with the Union Defence Ministry for the construction of 14 fast-patrol vessels for the Indian Coast Guard, PTI reported on Monday. This is the first time a private sector shipyard has been contracted to design a ship of such a class for the Armed Forces, according to the report.
The boats will be medium-range high-speed vessels and will be used for coastal patrols as well as search-and-rescue and anti-smuggling operations, IANS reported. They are also used to support front-line ships during wartime. A statement filed by RDEL said the company has the country’s largest dry-dock and that it will develop the design of the boats in-house.
RDEL, a wholly-owned arm of the Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Infrastructure Limited, won the contract through a competitive bidding process in which almost all public and private shipyards participated. In 2016, the company announced a joint venture with French aircraft maker Dassault Aviation, which manufactures Rafale fighter jets. The joint venture is expected to benefit from the Indian government’s acquisition of 36 Rafale aircraft.