Monday, October 3rd, 2022 12:43:03

MDL: Premier Shipbuilding Yard in the Country

Updated: April 4, 2022 2:00 pm

“As on date, MDL has an order book of Rs 47000 crore approx. The order broadly comprises the construction of four numbers of Visakhapatnam Class (Project 15B) stealth destroyers (one out of four already delivered), four numbers of Nilgiri Class (Project 17A) stealth frigates and two numbers of Project 75 Scorpene Submarine (four out of six already delivered) and Medium Refit and Life Certification of INS Shishumar,” said V Adm. Narayan Prasad, Chairman and Managing Director, Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited, in an interview to Ashok Kumar. Excerpts:

 

Mazagon Dock has grown to become one of the premier warship-building yards in India, producing warships for the Indian Navy, including Destroyers, Frigates, Corvettes, Missile Boats, OPVs, etc. Briefly outline the construction activities of the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd. (MDL).

MDL, today, is the premier shipbuilding yard in the country, producing world-class state-of-the-art ships and submarines. Over the last six decades, MDL has delivered over 799 ships/submarines/platforms to various customers both in India and abroad.  Out of which 43 have been delivered to the Indian Navy, which form a formidable part of the Fleet of the Indian Navy.  The range of platforms delivered to various customers range from Destroyers, Stealth Frigates, Submarines, Missile Boats, Corvettes, Offshore Patrol Vessels, Multipurpose Support Vessels, Offshore Supply Vessels, Dredgers, Tugs and Cargo-cum-Passenger Vessels. The main customer for MDL is the Indian Navy.

What is the current order book of MDL? Briefly highlight the export aspect of MDL.

As on date, MDL has an order book of Rs 47000 crore approx. The order broadly comprises the construction of four numbers of Visakhapatnam Class (Project 15B) stealth destroyers (one out of four already delivered), four numbers of Nilgiri Class (Project 17A) stealth frigates and two numbers of Project 75 Scorpene Submarine (four out of six already delivered) and Medium Refit and Life Certification of INS Shishumar.

MDL has submitted proposals for exports to various countries viz. Brazil, Peru, Argentina, Philippines, Hungry, Sierra Leone, Chile, Cameroon, etc. for construction & delivery of  OPVs, FPVs, FICs, Floating Docks, Flat Bottom Shallow Boats, FAC and Corvettes.

MDL has been selected as the preferred production partner to undertake major ship construction activities for M/s SSK Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex, Russia. Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex (SBC) is ambitious on development of a shipbuilding cluster in the far east of Russia and the project will open up a large-scale export business opportunity for India and specifically to MDL in future as the envisaged quantum of work is really huge spanning for years. MDL intends to take this business opportunity forward.

 

What is MDL’s total current capacity utilisation? Also shed some light on the indigenisation initiatives that have taken place in warship building over the last few years?

With its augmented infrastructure, the construction capacity of MDL has increased from 06 to 11 submarines with parallel construction lines and from 8 to 10 warships. Currently, MDL is building two conventional submarines (four numbers already delivered) against the capacity of 11 and 7 warships against the capacity of 10.

MDL has set-up a dedicated Department of Indigenisation in October 2015 to boost and strengthen the indigenisation effort and to provide focused impetus to the Prime Minister’s vision of “Make-in-India”.

MDL has launched a separate “Atmanirbhar Bharat” webpage in the company’s website. The process of indigenisation, various items/equipment indigenised, items required to be indigenized (EoIs) are displayed on the webpage. Success stories of indigenisation are published on MDL website as a compendium of items indigenised.

MDL has hosted 404 imported items for around Rs 2034 crore on the MoD/DDP initiated website www.srijandefence.gov.in. MDL is interacting with the Indian firms showing interest in listed products.

MDL is in the process of floating two challenges in Defence India Start-up Challenge (DISC)-6 and it also floated one challenge under DISC–5 organised by iDEX (Innovation for Defence Excellence).

MDL has indigenised 20 items/equipment, which if procured from indigenised sources would result in considerable savings in foreign exchange. Currently, indigenisation of 09 major items/equipment through Indian industries is in progress. Out of 09 items, 02 items are being indigenised under MAKE II process.

 

The RFP for Project 75(I) was issued to your company & M/s Larsen & Tubro (L&T) to build

six AIP fitted Conventional Submarines under the Strategic Partnership Model. What is the progress on it?

RFP for P75I was issued on 20 Jul 21 to shortlisted strategic partners. MDL being one of the shortlisted strategic partner, is in the process of selecting of one FC (Foreign Collaborator) from the five shortlisted FCs viz. M/s Naval Group – France, M/s Navantia – Spain, M/s ROE – Russia, M/s tkMS – Germany and M/s DSME – South Korea by IHQ/ MoD(N).

 

How is MDL preparing for the growing shift towards digital manufacturing, Industry 4.0, use of AI and Big Data in warship manufacture?

As elaborated above, MDL has setup a state-of-the-art Virtual Reality Centre leading to the reduction in physical effort to understand and analyse complex issues in compartment layouts of ship building. Any clashes between laying of piping cables ventilation duct etc. is virtually visualised in office environment and is resolved in the design stage itself. In addition to VRC, MDL, in collaboration with IITM, Chennai, has developed AI-based machines and methods for various key processes of shipbuilding. Artificial Intelligence enabled Robotic Weld Inspection tool using phased array technic to replace manual radiography is one of them.

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