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Diving Support Vessels 'Nistar', 'Nipun' launched in Vizag

The Diving Support Vessels being launched. (Photo: PIB)

VISAKHAPATNAM (PTI): Two indigenously designed and built Diving Support Vessels (DSVs) of Indian Navy – christened 'Nistar' and 'Nipun' – were launched in Visakhapatnam on Thursday in the presence of Indian Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar.

In his address on the occasion, Admiral Kumar described the launching of the DSVs as a "coming of age of the expertise and experience resident in India's shipbuilding industry".

The DSVs are first-of-its-kind ships, indigenously designed and built at Hindustan Shipyard Ltd, Vishakapatnam for the Navy, the Indian Navy said.

'Nistar' and 'Nipun' were launched by achieving approximately 80 per cent indigenous content, a major step towards "self-reliance". The DSV project has generated local employment opportunities and promoted indigenisation which will boost India's economy, the Navy said in a statement.

Navy chief's wife Kala Hari Kumar, president of Navy Wellness and Welfare Association (NWWA), performed the traditional honour and named these ships. These ships received a thunderous cheer from jubilant gathering as they embraced the welcoming waters of the Bay of Bengal.

"It is a matter of great pride and privilege to be here on this historic occasion of the launch of two sophisticated and key platforms of the Indian Navy. Once commissioned, these indigenous Diving Support Vessels or DSVs will serve as INS Nipun and INS Nistar," the Navy chief said in his address.

"Nistar and Nipun, once commissioned, would not only herald a new era in our deep ocean diving operations, but also enhance the Indian Navy's stature as a credible force and first responder to undertake critical operations such as submarine rescue operations in the IOR (Indian Ocean Region)," he said.

"Just a few days back we had commissioned the first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier INS Vikrant at Kochi. Combined together, these ships reaffirm our growing stature as a 'Builders Navy', and a formidable maritime force capable of undertaking multidimensional and multispectral operations," the Navy chief added.

In its previous avatar as a Submarine Rescue Vessel, INS Nistar was commissioned in 1971 and played an instrumental role in conducting diving operations on the Pakistan Navy submarine, Ghazi, which sank outside Vishakhapatnam harbour during 1971 Indo-Pak war, he said.

The DSVs, equipped with an array of complex diving support systems and Deep Submergence Rescue Vessel (DSRV), will be deployed for deep sea diving and submarine rescue operations. Furthermore, the ships will be capable of conducting search and rescue operations and carrying out helicopter operations at sea, the Navy said.

This project is being executed with support from Indian industry, primarily MSME firms who have supplied yard material, equipment and services. Shipyard is extensively using the GeM portal for procuring material and services for the project. More than 120 MSME vendors across India have actively participated in the project, the statement read.

Indigenously designed and built at HSL, these ships are a true testimonial to 'Aatmanirbharta'. They are self-sustaining platforms which can operate at sea for prolonged durations, the Navy said.

Admiral Kumar said while Indian Navy fulfils its primary role of maritime security, "we also contribute substantially to nation building through our steadfast commitment to Aatmanirbharta".

The major recipient of the Navy's capital budget investment are Indian shipyards. Of the 45 ships and submarines presently under construction, 43 are being built at shipyards across the country. In addition to direct economic 'plough-back', these indigenous ship building projects also act as a catalyst for significant employment generation and skill development, he said.

"Moving into the 'Amrit Kaal', I am convinced that the close partnership between the Navy, shipyards and industry will be key drivers in India's pursuit of becoming a developed nation by 2047," the Navy Chief said.

Other senior officers from the Indian Navy and Ministry of Defence were among the dignitaries who attended the launching ceremony.

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