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Indian shipyard joins UK firm to build aircraft carriers for Navy

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MUMBAI (BNS): A private sector Indian shipyard on Thursday announced that it has joined hands with a British firm to build aircraft carriers for the Indian Navy.

Mumbai-based Pipavav Shipyard said that it has tied up with UK’s Babcock group to build aircraft carriers for the Navy.

“This is an important milestone in Pipavav Shipyard’s efforts to become a major player in the Defence sector,” the shipyard said in its filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.

“This event is likely to eliminate necessity to import large battle ships such as aircraft carrier in the future,” it said.

The Babcock group is Britain’s leading naval support company. It is involved in building next generation aircraft carriers and managing naval bases. It also undertakes refitting, refuelling and decommissioning of submarines, maintaining and refitting of warships and providing equipment support on behalf of the UK government.

“This is the first time in the country that such important co-operation for lead battle ships between a global major and Indian private shipyard has taken place, paving the way for India to be self-sufficient for such vital assets,” Pipavav said.

The company also said that it will explore joint venture options to build similar lead battle ships for "friendly countries."

Last year the company had received the necessary clearance to build warships for the Indian defence sector, including frigates, destroyers, aircraft carriers, LPDs, submarines and corvettes.

As per the approval, Pipavav can build five warships every year, which in effect means that the company can undertake about 20 warships of various capacities at a time, as the normal building time for any front line warship is between three to four years.

It has also received permission from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) to receive foreign direct investment.

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