On April 10, 2024, at Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) in Visakhapatnam, the first steel cutting for the Indian Navy’s Fleet Support Ships (FSS) was overseen by Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane. With a displacement of 44,000 tons, the first-of-its-kind FSS is now being built at HSL. It will be essential in replenishing the fleet at sea with supplies including fuel, water, ammunition, and stores, expanding the Navy’s operational capabilities and expanding its strategic reach.

In order to increase the yard’s capacity and capabilities, the Defence Secretary also laid the foundation for significant infrastructure modernization and slipway augmentation.

HSL’s ability to carry out FSS and upcoming projects like the Landing Platform Dock will be further enhanced by the ongoing infrastructure upgrades, which also include the installation of a state-of-the-art 300T Goliath crane and slipway upgrades. This will strengthen HSL’s role in satisfying the requirements of the defense and commercial sectors under the “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” initiative.

During his speech, Giridhar Aramane referred to HSL as a government asset. He said that HSL should be prepared to take on any challenge because the current shipbuilding trend indicates an impending boom in orders from the commercial and defense sectors.

CMD, HSL Cmde Hemant Khatri (Retd) extended gratitude to the Defence Secretary for being a key in the revival of HSL. He emphasized the significance of the FSS’s construction, noting that it offers job opportunities to over 3,000 people and supports approximately 550 MSMEs in the Visakhapatnam area.

Vice Admiral Rajesh Pendharkar of the Eastern Naval Command, the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, was also present during the occasion.