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January 11, 2016

Reliance Defense signs MoU to establish naval base in Visakhapatnam, India

Reliance Defense has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indian state government of Andhra Pradesh, to establish a naval facility in Visakhapatnam.

Reliance Defense has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indian state government of Andhra Pradesh, to establish a naval facility in Visakhapatnam.

To be located at Rambilli along the East Coast, 70km south of Vizag, with an initial investment of Rs50bn ($748m), the facility will focus on manufacturing nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers, as well as offer maintaining and refitting services.

Reliance chairman Anil Ambani said that the location of the naval facility is in close proximity to India’s naval establishment, including the Coast Guard, and Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC).

"The Vizag naval facility will aim to better the best in the world in terms of technology and resources."

Speaking at the Andhra Partnership summit, Anil Ambani said: "Nearly 90% of the conventional fleet in the Indian Navy is over 20 years old and due for urgent upgrade and re-fitment. There is a projected requirement of an additional 23 submarines."

He cited that the Indian navy could spend nearly Rs200bn annually over the next 15 years on acquisitions and fleet modernisation of submarines and aircraft carriers, which he believes will create a "huge pipeline of opportunity" for the anticipated naval facility.

He added: "A futuristic state-of-the-art venture, the Vizag naval facility will aim to better the best in the world in terms of technology and resources.

"It will complement our existing facility at Pipavav in Gujarat, with a clear focus on building strategic assets for the Indian navy."

Last month, Reliance Defense completed the acquisition, together with management control of Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering Company Limited.

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