Turkish company Anadolu Shipyard, which is one of three shortlisted companies for the selection for the FSS (fleet support ship) project of the Indian Navy may have to bear the brunt for its President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s unwarranted utterances on Jammu and Kashmir in the recently concluded United Nations General Assembly(UNGA). The company’s collaboration with the Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) for the FSS project pegged at $2.3 billion is likely to be put on a hold.
Financial Express has quoted a senior official saying that the contract for the 45,000-ton fleet support ships (FSS) for the Indian Navy with the Turkish Company could be indefinitely delayed due to Turkey’s UNGA statements.
The officer further speculated that the delay maybe because of the fallout with Turkey at the UNGA following its President’s remarks on Jammu and Kashmir. “It could be a result of Turkey warming up to Pakistan and raising Kashmir issue at the recently concluded 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA),” said the officer.
The Turkish Shipyard was L1 and had technically met the requirements for the FSS project for the Indian Navy from among three other global companies who were in the competition for the construction of five ships. The Request for Proposal floated by India had garnered responses from seven global players.
Some of the companies that displayed interest in the proposal were- the German ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS), Fincantieri of Italy, Navantia from Spain, Rosboronexports (ROE) from Russia and Turkey’s Anadolu Shipyard. However, at the end of the scrutiny, only three companies- TKMS, ROE and the Turkish Shipyard made the cut based on India’s requirements.
The contract is yet to be signed even as analysis of the technical and financial assessment is underway. According to the proposed deal, Turkish shipyard is expected to provide ship design, supply key machinery equipment (KME) and provide technical assistance to the Indian counterpart.
The second round of negotiations related to price is yet to take place. This is the first time that a Turkish shipyard company, part of TAIS group had participated in any defence contract in India.
However, it appears that Erdogan’s siding with Pakistan may have delivered a body blow to the Turkish shipyard company on its prospects to ink a defence deal with the Indian Navy.
In a strident speech at the UN General Assembly, President Erdogan had mirrored Pakistan’s lines on the Kashmir issue, saying that the issue needs to be resolved through “dialogue on the basis of justice, equity and not through collision”, in an attempt to create an illusion that India has been in the wrong . The Turkish president further added that the stability and prosperity of South Asia with India’s western neighbour is inseparable from the Kashmir issue.
Erdogan yesterday defended his statements on Kashmir saying that he would continue to raise the Kashmir issue. After Erdogan’s hostile comments on Jammu and Kashmir, PM Modi had retorted back in the same coin by meeting the heads of Ankara’s rivals- Greece, Cyprus and Armenia, who have a bone to pick with Turkey.