A MoU has been signed between India and South Korea for defence industry cooperation in shipbuilding. Under the MoU, the two countries would recommend the organisations for collaborating in the implementation of specific projects. The MoUs signed will be valid for a time period of 5 years and are automatically extendable for further successive five years at a time.
While South Korea is yet to name its recommended organisation, India has nominated Hindustan Shipyard Ltd (HSL), Visakhapatnam for the collaboration.
HSL and the nominated shipyard by South Korea will find and develop indigenous sources for the supply of majority of the material and equipment for the construction of the warship. HSL has already teamed with Hyundai Heavy Industries to build five fleet support ships and two strategic operating vessels.
In addition to the above project, Kangnam Corporation of South Korea is slated to provide consultancy, design and technological assistance to India’s state-owned Goa Shipyard Limited in building 12 mine countermeasures vessels.
The cooperation is part of the ‘Make in India’ policy. Accordingly, the warships will be built at domestic shipyards with the help of South Korea. This will enable HSL to upgrade and modernise its facilities and finish shipbuilding projects in a timely and cost effective manner. It would be able to imbibe best practices in shipbuilding. As a result of which, the production of HSL will increase manifold leading to the creation of more employment opportunities to the unemployed.
In addition, the plan to identify and develop indigenous sources for the supply of material and equipment would pave way for the development of ancillary industry /maritime cluster in the region.
The partnership was conceived under the overall umbrella of the ‘Special Strategic Partnership‘ as declared in the Joint Statement of the Prime Ministers of both the nations in May 2015. Subsequently, the two countries agreed to encourage co-operation between their shipyards in the defence sector.