NEW DELHI — The Indian government on Wednesday approved the purchase of three training ships cadets for $388.5 million from local private defense company Larsen & Toubro.

Defence Minister Rajnath Sigh tweeted on Wednesday that the Cabinet Committee on Security, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, endorsed the signing of a contract for the vessels. The Ministry of Defence said it will ink the contract later this month, with deliveries to start in 2026.

The ships are to help train officer cadets at sea following basic training for the Indian Navy. India could also use the ships for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions.

The MoD said the ships would also provide training to cadets from friendly countries, with the aim of strengthening diplomatic relations.

The planned order is expected to bolster the Indian Navy’s training capability. The service currently operates three cadet training ships.

Larsen & Toubro won a tender for the naval program last year under the ministry’s Buy Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured) procurement category, beating out five state-run shipyards: Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd.; Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers; Goa Shipyard Ltd.; Hindustan Shipyard Ltd.; and Cochin Shipyard Ltd.

The Larsen & Toubro shipyard in the town of Kattupalli in Chennai, southern India, is to construct the three ships.

The MoD noted that with the majority of equipment and systems sourced from indigenous manufacturers, these vessels will serve as an example of India’s effort to become self-reliant.

The company said each training ship will be 122 meters in length and 18 meters in breadth. They are to have a displacement of 4,700 tons, the contractor added, while being able to reach a speed of 20 knots, feature an endurance of 60 days and 7,500 miles at 15 knots.

Each ship should house 20 officers, 150 sailors and 200 cadets. Additionally, they will have an bridge and a chart house dedicated for cadet training, plus three classrooms with a seating capacity of 70 in each.

The ships will also feature 75mm and 12.7mm guns, close-in-weapons with fire control systems, combat management and data link systems, and advanced composite communication technology.

Vivek Raghuvanshi is the India correspondent for Defense News.

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