RFI for Rs 32,640-cr minesweepers may be issued in four weeks


The ministry of defence (MoD) is expected to issue a request for information (RFI) for Rs 32,640-crore mine-countermeasure vessels (MCMVs) to be built at Goa Shipyard (GSL) in the next four weeks. Sources told FE on conditions of anonymity, “The RFI will be issued in the next few weeks to the two companies including South Korean company Kangnam Corporation and Italian shipbuilder M/s Intermarine that have responded to the Expression of Interest for the MCMVs.”

The Rs 32,640-crore project is expected to fill gaps in the navy’s mine warfare capability. According to sources at the shipyard, “The earlier discussions with Kangnam Corporation had some problems following differences over a host of issues including terms and conditions for technology transfer.” The MCMVs, or mine-sweepers, are to be made in India under the Make in India initiative.

India was hoping to sign the contract in August 2016 with the Korean company. All the 12 MCMVs will be built at GSL with transfer of technology (TOT) from a foreign collaborator, under the Make in India programme. Navies deploy minesweepers to secure harbours by locating and destroying mines.

The final specifications for these vessels were made by the Indian Navy, based on which GSL floated a global request for proposal to identify and acquire TOT from a suitable collaborator. GSL has been interacting with various international shipyards, including Intermarine and Kangnam Corp, to obtain information on various designs and technologies, as reported by FE earlier.

Earlier this year, the shipyard issued a fresh expression of interest (EoI) for the project to a number of major foreign defence majors that build minesweepers. The minesweeper ships detect and destroy underwater mines and are considered vital for keeping critical sea lanes safe.

According to reports, the MCMVs that the Indian Navy wants weigh close to 900 tonne and are specialised warships employed to detect and destroy underwater mines, which can render harbours and offshore installations unsafe for use, thereby disrupting shipping and commerce.

By: Financial Express

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Categories: Navy

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