The ground is being prepared for a partnership between Hyundai Heavy Industries Company Ltd of South Korea and the Hindustan Shipyard Ltd for construction of a fleet of support ships for the Navy in both the countries.

The agreement may be signed sometime next year. Talks are in progress between the MoD and South Korea. Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Hyundai in May 2015 when the issue of mutual cooperation was discussed.

HSL Chairman and Managing Director LV Sarat Babu said on Wednesday that the first ship was expected to roll out in October, 2022, from the Hyundai facility in South Korea. Simultaneously, the construction of another FSS will start at HSL with the guidance of Hyundai.

“Our plan is to roll out one FSS every 10 months after the delivery of the first vessel from Hyundai,” the CMD said.

The total cost of the five FSS would be around ₹9,500 crore, he said.

The process of refilling the request for proposal (RFP) on two Special Operational Vessels is now in the process. Sarat Babu said they would get order for two SOVs on nomination basis. The value of the order for both the vessels will be around ₹2,500 crore.

SOVs are also known as mini submarines or midgets. The refit of Russia-made INS Sindhuvir , an EKM class submarine, will be completed in 27 months at a cost of ₹500 crore, he added.