India’s Rs 32,000 crore minehunter project takes shape
India will float a global tender in two months to build modern mine counter-measure vessels (MCMVs) in the country at a cost of more than Rs 32,000 crore to fix gaping holes in the navy’s minesweeping capabilities.india Updated: Jul 16, 2015 00:19 IST
India will float a global tender in two months to build modern mine counter-measure vessels (MCMVs) in the country at a cost of more than Rs 32,000 crore to fix gaping holes in the navy’s minesweeping capabilities.
After scrapping an earlier tender to import MCMVs due to alleged irregularities, the government nominated Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) in February to build 12 minesweepers in partnership with a foreign shipyard to give impetus to the Make in India programme.
GSL chairman Rear Admiral Shekhar Mital (retd) told HT the vessels would have at least 60% indigenous content and the shipyard was in advanced talks with South Korean yard Kangnam Corporation and Italian shipbuilder Intermarine for possible collaboration. The two firms competed in the cancelled tender.
“The Navy is finalising specifications for the vessels and we should be ready to issue a tender by September-end,” he said. Korean and Italian teams have visited GSL to inspect its facilities, explore possibilities of setting up production units for components with local players and discuss the broad contours of the project.
“A GSL delegation will soon head to Korea and I will visit the Italian yard to discuss issues related to transfer of technology. The idea is to have maximum indigenous content,” Mital said.
The construction of the first vessel is expected to kick off in April 2018, with deliveries being completed between April 2021 and April 2026. The minesweepers will have a displacement of 800 to 1,000 tonnes.
Minesweepers are used for keeping sea lanes mine-free as well as detecting and destroying minefields near enemy shores to facilitate offensive action.
The project is crucial for the navy as its minesweeping capabilities are at an all-time low. It operates only six to seven minesweepers bought fromthe erstwhile Soviet Union in the late 1970s, against a requirement of 24.