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Indian Navy officers hoist the ensign aboard the INS Chennai, India's third indigenously designed guided missile destroyer during its commissioning ceremony in Mumbai, India, November 21, 2016.Reuters

Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL) will set up a joint venture with Ukrainian Zorya Mashproekt to overhaul turbines in India. Apparently, the Indian Navy is increasing its dependency on Ukrainian gas turbine to propel its warships.

The presence of Zorya turbines for powering the Indian warships is ever increasing with the fact that the Indian Navy will soon have 34 warships with four turbines per vessel.

The turbine which is used by the Indian Navy requires overhauling after running 30,000 hours. Currently, in such a scenario, the turbine is sent back to Ukraine which is not only time consuming but also costly. The proposed joint venture could substantially reduce the downtime since they would not be transported all the way to Ukraine.

Jitender Das, BHEL's corporate communication head, told Business Standard that the Mahartna Company is in touch with Zorya turbines to overhaul turbines in India. The details of the investments and figures will be reviled at the time of signing the deal. He also added that the partnership with Zorya will expand the portfolio of BHEL which is already working with Siemens and General Electric gas turbines.

Zorya turbines are extensively used in major Indian naval warships which includes five Rajput class destroyers, three Delhi class destroyers and 16 fast missile corvettes of the 1241RE class.

The daily repair and maintenance of Zorya turbines which are currently in use are being done at the Marine Gas Turbine Overhaul Centre (MGTOC) at INS Eksila, Vishakapatnam. The BHEL-Zorya JV will completely indigenise maintenance and service support to Zorya Turbines.

Zorya gas turbine is just another story of growing cooperation between India and Ukraine in the defence sector. New Delhi had signed a defence cooperation pact with the Ukrainian government in 2005 as significant parts of the former USSR's defence industry is based out of Kiev which the is the capital city of Ukraine.

The defence cooperation pact called for an annual meet for a joint working group from both defence ministries. The recent meeting was held in Kiev in June.