FSS are being developed by HSL for the Indian Navy. Credit: HSL/commons.wikimedia.org.
The FSS ships are expected to be delivered to the Indian Navy starting in mid-2027. Credit: Indian Navy.
The steel-cutting ceremony for the first FSS was held at HSL’s shipyard in Visakhapatnam. Credit: Indian Navy.

The Fleet Support Ships (FSS) are being developed for the Indian Navy by Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL), a state-owned shipbuilding company based in India. The ships are the first of their kind being constructed in India.

The Indian Cabinet Committee on Security approved the acquisition of the FSS vessels in August 2023. The Indian Ministry of Defence signed a contract worth Rs190bn ($2.3bn) with HSL for the procurement of five FSS vessels in the same month.

The steel-cutting ceremony for the first FSS was held at HSL’s shipyard in Visakhapatnam in the state of Andhra Pradesh in April 2024.

Scheduled for delivery to the Indian Navy starting in the middle of 2027, the FSS vessels are intended to improve the strategic reach and mobility of the fleet.

The ships represent India’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat or self-reliance initiative focused on using equipment from local manufacturers and supporting the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

The ships will be indigenously designed and manufactured using 80% indigenous materials.

The capacity and capabilities of HSL’s Visakhapatnam shipyard are being boosted with the expansion of a slipway and infrastructure upgrade including the installation of a state-of-the-art 300-tonne (t) Goliath crane.

The upgrades will boost HSL’s ability to handle FSS and upcoming projects, such as the Landing Platform Dock programme.

Construction of the naval vessels will introduce a new dimension to the Indian shipbuilding industry and foster active participation from related sectors, including micro, small, and medium enterprises.

The project is expected to generate approximately 17 million man-days of job opportunities.

Fleet Support Ships design and features

The FSS vessels will have an overall length of 200m, a breadth of 25m, and a draft of 10m. They will have a displacement of 44,000t and a speed of 20 knots. Its complement is approximately 190 personnel.

The ship will feature a double bottom and double hull in the cargo hold areas to enhance the range and duration of naval combat missions.


The vessel will be equipped with diesel propulsion utilising a single-shaft configuration and a controllable pitch propeller.

Applications of Fleet Support Ships

The FSS will supply ships at sea with fuel, water, ammunition, and supplies, allowing the Indian Naval fleet to stay at sea for longer periods without needing to return to port.

FSS can transfer fuel to naval surface units while they are at sea using abeam and stern transfer methods.

Additionally, the vessels can transfer all types of stores, victuals, and personnel to naval vessels while they are at sea. They will also be capable of handling multirole helicopters.

Furthermore, the vessels will be utilised for evacuating individuals and providing human assistance during disaster relief operations and delivering relief supplies quickly during natural disasters.

Contractors involved

Smart Engineering & Design Solutions (India), a design solutions provider for oceangoing, coastal, inland, and naval vessels, was chosen by HSL to collaborate on designing the five FSS vessels.

The Indian Register of Shipping (IRS), a classification society, will offer classification services for the new FSS vessels, which will adhere to IRS Naval Rules.

IRS will also provide certification for ‘compliance with build specification,’ along with verifying compliance against relevant codes and conventions and conducting various technical studies mandated by the build specification.