Indian Navy's stealth corvette INS Kamorta

The fourth and the last anti-submarine warfare (ASW) corvette of the P-28 project – Kavaratti, being constructed at an approximate cost of Rs 1,700 crore by Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd (GRSE) in Kolkata, will be delivered to the Indian Navy in May 2019.

"The trials of this warship would commence from March, followed by delivery to the Indian Navy in May 2019," said commander (retired) Soumya Choudhury, general manager (fitting out jetty), GRSE.

Kavaratti, the last in the series of four ASW corvettes that the shipyard is building, has almost 90% of indigenous materials.

The first two ships of this class, INS Kamorta and INS Kadmatt were delivered by the shipyard in 2014 and 2015, respectively. The third vessel, INS Kiltan, was delivered in October last year.

Kavaratti was to be handed over by December 2017, but its delivery got delayed to May 2019.

Simultaneously, construction has begun for Project 17A of the Indian Navy, wherein four Shivalik-class frigates would be built by Mumbai-based Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd and the balance three by GRSE.

Talking about P17A, commodore (retired) Sanjeev Nayyar, director, shipbuilding, GRSE, said that the shipyard is ahead of its schedule in constructing the Shivalik-class frigates.

GRSE is set to hit the capital market with its initial public offering next week. Of its total order book of Rs 20,313.61 crore as of June 2018, P17A alone comprises Rs 19,293.46 crore. The first vessel delivery under P17A is scheduled in mid-2023 and the last will be handed over to the Indian Navy in August 2025.

The shipyard is also looking at booking defence orders from South-East Asia, West Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Till date, the company has delivered 97 warships to the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard and one defence vessel to the Mauritian Coast Guard.

"Discussions are underway on B2B (business-to-business) and G2G (government-to-government) levels for export orders," said GRSE chairman and managing director rear admiral (retired) Vipin Kumar Saxena.

Like Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd, GRSE is also diversifying its business bu undertaking ship repairs for Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard. At present, the order book or business from this segment is approximately Rs 16 crore, which it intends to increase in the years to come.

The Union government is divesting its 25% holding in GRSE through an offer for sale and expects to raise around Rs 335 crore. The IPO will open on September 24 for three days with a price band of Rs 115-118 per share.