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Defence Secretary Presides Over First Steel Cutting of Fleet Support Ships

Defence Secretary Shri Giridhar Aramane marked a historic moment at Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) in Visakhapatnam on April 10, 2024, as he presided over the first steel cutting of the Fleet Support Ships (FSS) for the Indian Navy. The FSS, a pioneering project with a displacement of 44,000 tons, will significantly enhance the Navy’s operational capabilities by replenishing the fleet at sea with fuel, water, ammunition, and stores.

During the ceremony, the Defence Secretary also laid the foundation stone for the augmentation of slipway and major infrastructure modernization, aimed at bolstering HSL’s capacity and capability. These upgrades, including the installation of a cutting-edge 300T Goliath crane and slipway enhancements, align with the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative, reinforcing HSL’s role in meeting both defence and commercial sector requirements.

In his address, Shri Giridhar Aramane hailed HSL as a valuable asset of the government and urged it to be prepared for the upcoming surge in shipbuilding orders. CMD of HSL, Cmde Hemant Khatri (Retd), expressed gratitude to the Defence Secretary for his pivotal role in the revival of HSL and highlighted the significant economic impact of the FSS construction on the local community, including employment opportunities for over 3,000 personnel and business for nearly 550 MSMEs.

The ceremony was graced by the presence of Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command Vice Admiral Rajesh Pendharkar, among other dignitaries, marking a momentous occasion in India’s maritime journey.

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