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India To Spend 6.5$ Billion For Building Four Stealth Destroyers Under Project-15B

The Indian government has approved spending 6.5$ billion to build four stealth destroyers for the Indian Navy under Project-15B.

The Indian Defence Ministry cleared the project in late 2009, but the
government only approved funding last month, a senior Defence Ministry
official said.


The four destroyers will be built at the Indian Navy’s Mumbai-based
Mazagon Docks after construction is completed for three earlier stealth
warships under Project 15-A. These are expected to be completed by
2012-2014.

The new destroyers will have greater stealth and advanced sensor and
weapon packages, and will be fitted with a 1,000-kilometer-range
nuclear capable cruise missile currently being developed by the Defence
Research and Development Organisation with Israeli help, Navy sources
said.

The new stealth destroyers also will be fitted with an extended-range
surface-to-air missile system, which is being developed jointly between
India and Israel.

There was no competitive bidding for the four 6,800-ton destroyers
since Mazagon Dock is the only Indian shipyard large enough to build
destroyers.

The Navy, which has been retiring old ships faster than building new
ones, has given orders to various shipyards for the building of 39
warships. The Navy’s current strength is about 140 vessels. Most of
these warships are of Russian make and one Navy officials said the
service is concerned that these ships are aging faster than new ones
can be inducted.

Naval responsibilities have increased with India emerging as a major power throughout the Indian Ocean region.

In July, the Defence Ministry approved procurement of six conventional
submarines worth more than $10 billion. Under the program, three of the
subs will be built at Mazagon Docks, one will be built at state-owned
Hindustan Shipyard in Visakhapatnam with the help of a foreign
collaborator, and two will be purchased directly from an overseas
vendor.
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