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GRSE, Naval Group team on Gowind vessels

India's Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) signed an agreement with Naval Group on 9 September to collaborate on constructing surface combatants.

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed in New Delhi and supports co-operation on building the French group's Gowind-class vessel for India and export markets.

The companies did not identify specific Indian programmes for which the Gowind class would be positioned for. However, it is possible that the vessel will be lined up to bid for the Indian Navy's programme to procure next-generation offshore patrol vessels (NGOPVs).

The Indian government's Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved the procurement of six NGOPVs in December 2020. A request for information in support of the procurement was issued by the Indian Ministry of Defence in 2018.

In international markets the companies' indicated a commitment to bid for contracts in the Indo-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

Vipin Kumar Saxena, the chairman and managing director of GRSE, said in a press release that the MOU would support efforts to “deliver surface ships to friendly foreign countries” in line with India's Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) policy.

SAGAR was launched by the government in 2015 and promotes maritime co-operation in the IOR.

GRSE and Naval Group have co-operated on several programmes in the past.

These included the Indian Navy's Kamorta-class (Project 28) corvettes that were built by GRSE. Naval Group was involved in the supply and integration of the vessels' raft-mounted gearboxes and propulsion system. The fourth and final vessel in the class was commissioned in October 2020.

At the time of publication, Naval Group and GRSE had not responded to Janes questions about the new agreement.

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