Indian Union Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik has announced that the Indian Navy is likely to execute orders worth $51bn for surface ships and submarines from 2020 to 2030.

The announcement was made by the minister during a virtual meet organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), regarding opportunities at Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) and Mazagao Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDSL), reported PTI.

Over 60% of the budget allocated to the Indian Navy is set aside for capital expenditure.

Furthermore, almost 70% of the capital budget was used for ‘indigenous sourcing’, worth a total of Rs660bn ($8.9bn) in the previous five years.

According to the minister, more than 60 major surface and sub-surface platforms for the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard are constructed at Goa Shipyard, Mazagon Docks Shipbuilders, Garden Reach Shipbuilder and Engineers (GRSE), Hindustan Shipyards (HSL) and Cochin Shipyard (CSL).

In a separate development, the Indian Navy is conducting a search for navy pilot commander Nishant Singh, who has been missing since the MiG-29K fighter aircraft crashed on 26 November in the Arabian Sea.

The aircraft took off from the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya and is reported to have crashed at 5pm local time.

The Hindu reported a spokesperson as saying: “More surface and air assets have joined the search for missing pilot Cdr Nishant Singh.”

Last week, the Indian Navy reportedly inducted two Predator drones into its operations, under a lease agreement with a vendor from the US.