India’s defense industry has some measure of transparency due to the country’s democratic structure and rule of law, but a powerful bureaucratic tradition contributes a parallel level of obfuscation that makes information less forthcoming than it is in countries like Australia, Britain, the USA, et. al.
Recently, the Minister of State for Defence Production Rao Inderjit Singh offered a written reply in India’s Rajya Sabha (Upper Legislative House, lit. “Council of States”) to Shri Tapan Kumar Sen and Shri Mohammed Amin. They wanted to know how many employees worked in each of the main government departments, state-owned corporations, and other major entities associated with defense production in India. The answer was given on Feb 27/08…
Infodefensa adds that bids for the follow-on contract have also been submitted by France’s DCNS (likely the Scorpene AIM-2000, or possibly the in-development Marlin Class), Russia’s Rubin (Advanced Kilo Class, note the recently returned Kilo refit, though), and Germany’s HDW (likely the Type 214).
Thanks to DID subscriber Pedro Lucio for his tip and translation assistance. Interestingly, the Negocios article also says that the Government of India had asked Navantia for a proposal to supply up to 7 modern frigates, but Navantia’s leadership decided not to respond after carefully analyzing the requirements, and taking into account its order book for the next few years. See “India Issues RFI for “Stealth Frigates” for more background on that topic. Navantia is currently building frigates for Spain, Norway, and Australia.
When things go wrong on a naval ship, they can go very badly wrong indeed. Accidents, hostile fire, or hazardous conditions can force a crew to fight to save their vessel. Since humans don’t survive very well in open ocean, it’s usually a fight to save themselves as well. Effective damage control is a critical sailor’s skill, one that cannot be provided as effectively by automated systems. Executing it often requires iron nerve as well as knowledge, which is why testing and training needs to be as realistic as possible.
The Haskell Co. in Jacksonville, FL recently won a $12 million firm-fixed price task order under a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity, multiple award construction contract (N62472-01-D-0075/ 0004), to design and build a 2 story Damage Control School Trainer Facility at Naval Support Activity, Norfolk, VA. The facility will provide student training on techniques to arrest ship flooding situations. Construction includes a damage control wet trainer (“USS Buttercup”), trainer rooms, classrooms, and support spaces. Demolition includes a portion of Building #N30 (also including a pool, trainer device and associated equipment) where the current wet-trainer exists on Naval Station, Norfolk. The contract contains one additional option totaling $220,000, which may be exercised within 120 calendar days, bringing the total contract amount to $12.25 million. Work is expected to be complete by September 2009. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Mid-Atlantic in Norfolk, VA received 2 proposals for this task order.