India will export its first warship later this month, a move that is seen as a big leap for the country's defence public sector units. CGS Barracuda, a 75 ft by 15 ft off-shore patrol vehicle, will be handed over to Mauritius on December 20 and will be first such export by India.
The island nation has bought the ship for about Rs 300 crore, defence sources said.
"This is a big leap for domestic defence manufacturers as this is the first time when we are delivering a ship that has been purchased by a foreign country," sources said.
The ship is built by state-owned Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd (GRSE).
Two more ships are under construction at the Goa Shipyard - another Defence Public Sector Unit - on the orders of Sri Lanka.
CGS Barracuda is capable of carrying out multi-purpose roles such as anti-piracy operations, search and rescue, anti-smuggling and anti-drug surveillance among others.
The ship will also come with a pollution control suit that can be used to deal with oil-spills. "The ship is a testament to how far we have come. From a country that imported, we are now exporting," sources said.
Unlike earlier, India no longer needs to import such ships from abroad.
The Defence Ministry had recently scrapped plans to buy submarines to boost its aging fleet. As per the new policy, the submarines would be built in an Indian shipyard. Also, the government had scrapped a deal worth about Rs 2,700 crore for acquiring minesweeper vessels for the Indian Navy from a South Korean firm.