Commodore Rakesh Anand, CMD Mazagon Docks Ltd In A Monologue Interview With Editor ADU Sangeeta Saxena At EDEX 2018 In Egypt (Transcribed Video)
“Good afternoon, I’m Commodore Rakesh Anand, the Chairman and Managing Director of Mazagon Dock Ship Builders Ltd., the lead ship building yard of India, we are the premiere ship building yard setup in 1774. History going back to nearly 250 years, we’ve done some of the finest ships in the 19th century and we were the pioneers in building the frontline war ships for the Indian Navy, after having been taken over by the Government of India in 1960.
We’ve come a long way since then. We, toady having come up the various runs from bottom to the top, are capable of building the destroyers for the Indian Navy on the surface warship side and on the submarine side, we are capable of building the conventional submarines. We built the two 209 HDWs earlier and today we are building the series of 6 Scorpene class submarines, Kalvari having being delivered to the Indian Navy in 2017, the second one is lined up now anytime, that will be ready to deliver to the Indian Navy and every one year thereafter we will be able to commission one submarine for the Indian Navy.
MDL, over the years has enhanced its capacities by modernisation, building of additional capacities, we’ve been able to raise the capacity of major surface competent, major warships from eight to ten and for submarines six to eleven . This is the capacity that we have today. In addition to that, we are also working on a third vertical apart from the surface ships, the submarine vertical, we are looking at the repair and export vertical by virtue of an additional piece of land at Nhava, which is nearly 40 acres and we intend to develop that into a green field shipyard.
We are also in an advanced stage of discussions with the Mumbai port trust for acquiring 13 acres of land, so with this we are going to be having additional capacities and in the next 3 to 4 years, we’ve envisioned that we should to be targeting to get additional two to three thousand crores through refits and exports and thus we are here at the Egyptian Defence Exhibition at Cairo. Now the entire African region and the Gulf region is a potential area, where we can focus on exports.
Egypt, by it self is a huge importer of military equipment and thus our presence here was important. We are discussing in discussion with various elements here of nature to assess, whether there is the a possibility of giving a duty for larger platforms than what they are building here , which is the corvettes. We can build the frigates and destroyers for them. Now, this is all as a consequence also and a huge credit for this goes to the Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence for easing out the export norms in the last roughly, eight to ten months. So this coupled with the capacities as I mentioned earlier is the reason why we are here, scouting for potential export areas.
So, it is not the reason alone, for which we’re here , the entire African region, the Gulf region has requirements of naval warships and so we’re here to explore as we didn’t want to lose this opportunity to find out what is the potential and smart link case so it exists. We have the capabilities, we now have the capacities and as I said the most important reason is that the government is now supporting the export of the various platforms. So by the same logic it is not the African continent alone or the Gulf region alone, we’re also scouting for business from Latin America and from the South East Asian region as we know that the entire Indian Ocean region today has the presence of certain forces for which the various countries all around are scouting for naval platforms and there is thus a potential of exports.
There is also a potential of undertaking niche segments, surface and submarine repairs for various countries. Let us say in case the 209 submarines which are there in Egypt. In case they are so interested we are capable of undertaking the submarine repairs also. We are doing that for our own Navy at this point in time and we can do the same for other countries in case if they so desire. Exports is a possibility, we can tie up with the Naval group who are Collaborators for the scorpene submarines and we can undertake the export of the submarines.
And so far, as the surface components are concerned, it is our design, the Navy’s design and we can build to those designs in various configurations, that one can consider the exports. The weapon systems can be fitted for in a configuration or it can be with a weapon pattern that the recipient country would like to Indicate as to what kind of a weapon system they’d like to have from various right from Corvettes to frigates or the destroyers. So this is what we are looking at and this is where we would like to focus on.”