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Indian Navy Scouts for Global Partner for $5Bln Anti-Mine Vessels Project

The absence of Mine Countermeasures Vessels (MCMVs) and an inordinate delay in the procurement process has forced the Indian Navy to go in for an emergency procurement of clip-on suites from Thales Australia. These can be fitted on small boats to deal with underwater mines.

New Delhi (Sputnik): The Indian Navy has restarted the process to build 12 mine countermeasure vessels (MCMVs) at the country's state-owned Goa Shipyard in western India. MCMVs are essential for the Indian Navy in detecting and destroying mines laid by enemy forces to choke harbours and spread mayhem.

The project, worth around $5billion, requires a global partner that can do a technology transfer for minesweepers and assist in setting up additional production infrastructure at the shipyard. Last year, the Indian Defence Ministry sent an Expression of Interest (EoI) to South Korea's Kangnam Corporation, Italy's Intermarine, Spain's Navantia, Germany's ThyssenKrupp, and Russian Shipyards.



"Prospective collaborators need to have proven capability for design and construction of similar GRP Hull MCMVs for transferring the Design and build technology to the production agency. The design offered by the prospective collaborator needs to be based on a proven design of MCMV in active service", a global request for information issued by the Indian Navy reads.

Russian and Italian shipyards responded to the expression of interest (EoI) issued by the Indian Navy on 21 March 2018. This is the third attempt by India in the last 14 years to acquire technology for the indigenous development of minesweepers with a single skin, non-stiffened hull. India's first major defence hardware deal with South Korea for the co-production of 12 minesweepers for the Indian Navy fell apart in January 2018 after prolonged negotiations between Goa Shipyard Limited and the Kangnam Corporation, as differences persisted over the transfer of technology and costs.

The Indian Navy is in urgent need of minesweepers, considering the increasing operational deployments of Chinese submarines in the Indian Ocean Region. It is well-known that the stealth attribute of submarines makes them the most appropriate platforms for laying an offensive minefield in the enemy's littoral waters. The Indian Navy needs at least 24 MCMVs to plug the anti-mine naval asset shortfall. China, on the other hand, has more than 100 MCMVs.

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