Tuesday, January 20, 2015
South Korean shipyard to build 6 subs for India to counter China in Indian Ocean
Lee Soo-Ki, Kwon Sang-Soo, Korea JoongAng Daily, Jan 20
The world's largest shipbuilder, Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), has established an agreement to build submarines for India as part of a 40-year program to strengthen the nation's naval forces.
The financially struggling company said it signed an MoU with Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) last week stating that the Korean shipbuilder will work with the Indian company to build six submarines that the nation's navy is preparing to order.
"Since HSL wants to be a part of the submarine manufacturing project by the navy, they asked us for help," said a spokesman for HHI. "Because they are the largest shipbuilder in their country, the possibility that they will win the order is big."
The Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade said India's recent expansion of its military force is a matter of survival, especially after China has been aggressively strengthening its navy recently to expand its influences in the Indian Ocean, a transport route for about 80 percent of the world's oil.
Last year, China sent two submarines to run a combat simulation in the Indian Ocean, saying it was necessary to protect the nation's businesses from pirates.
According to military sources last year, China has a total of 52 submarines in operation, three of which are nuclear powered. India, however, has 14 submarines and only one is nuclear powered, which it borrowed from Russia in 2012. About half of the 14 submarines were built in the 1980s, according to the industry.