An international seminar “Future trends and Opportunities in Warship Design and Construction” was held at DRDO Bhawan, New Delhi to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Indigenous Warship Design and Construction. Admiral RK Dhowan, Chief of the Naval Staff was the chief guest for the seminar. The event was honoured by the presence of the Defence Secretary Sh RK Mathur, Flag Officers, officers from the Ministry of Defence, Chairmen and Managing Directors of Shipyards, dignitaries from PSUs, classification societies and luminaries from the Ship Building Industry.
During his address, the Chief of the Naval Staff said that in recognition of the need for development of indigenous capabilities, the Corps of Naval Constructors had been formed in 1954, followed by setting up of a Central Design Office (CDO) in 1964. In 1970, this Central Design Office emerged as the Directorate of Naval Design (DND) and it formed the bedrock of all warship design activities in the country. In the last five decades, India’s growing maritime self-reliance has facilitated the greater recognition of the role that India plays in providing stability in the Indian Ocean Region.
He also said that the DND has been a cornerstone for the construction of 119 warships and submarines of various types and sizes in our shipyards as of date. During the address the Admiral said that this journey of 50 years is a milestone in the self-reliance programme of the Navy and stressed that indigenisation of platforms, weapons, sensors and equipment, through participation of public and private sectors will continue to remain a focus area. The recently commissioned warships INS Kolkata, INS Kamorta (in Aug 2014) and INS Sumitra in early Sep 2014 aptly demonstrate the immense potential of the country in indigenous warship design and building capability. He emphasized that “Road map for the Navy’s expansion and growth would continue to remain firmly anchored on Self-reliance and indigenization”.
With 41 ships and submarines under construction at various public and private shipyards within the country, the Admiral said ‘We need to leverage the shipbuilding capacities and capabilities available in our private and public sectors in a holistic manner to ensure that we provide our indigenisation vision the right impetus’. He further urged the ship designers to work in synergy with all shipyards and domain experts and absorb the best practices available the world-over to ensure that our future warships meet best global standards in build quality, timelines and cost.
The chief of the Naval Staff, in conclusion, congratulated Rear Admiral AK Saxena, Director General Naval Design and all personnel of the Directorate of Naval design for their professionalism and relentless indigenization efforts to cater to the maritime security challenges faced by the Nation.