In an effort to kick-start ‘Make in India’ in the defence sector, the government has issued request for proposal (RFP) to Larsen and Toubro (L&T) and Reliance Defence and Engineering Ltd. (RDEL) to build four amphibious ships in a deal worth ₹25,000 crore.
The deal, which is the biggest ever contract to be given by the Indian Navy to the private sector, was cleared by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) headed by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley on May 21.
RDEL and L&T have been asked to submit the bids by June 22. As per the RFP, the first ship will have to be delivered within four years and the remaining in the nextseven years from the time the contract is awarded, sources told BusinessLine.
This will be for the first time that the Indian private sector will be building such ships, also called the Landing Platform Docks (LPD), within the country.
RDEL has partnered with France’s DCNS for the project. DCNS has already delivered four such ships. On the other hand, L&T has partnered with Navantia of Spain. RDEL and L&T both secured technical and financial approvals from the Indian Navy in 2016. The LPDs, each of which will weigh 30,000-40,000 tonnes, will be capable of transporting battle tanks, other equipment and troops.
LPD project ::
The LPD project is expected to boost the ‘Make in India’ programme and the Indian Navy’s plan to become a ‘builder’s navy’ from a ‘buyer’s navy.’
“The roadmap for Indian Navy will remain firmly anchored on self-reliance and indigenisation,” Chief of Naval Staff Karambir Singh said during an event here recently.
The LPD project had been pending for over several years now. As per the old RFP, two ships were expected to be built in private shipyard and two on nomination basis by a public sector shipyard. The frontrunners were RDEL, L&T and ABG Shipyard.
However, ABG was disqualified due to its weak financial health.
By: The Hindu Business Line
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