The Indian Navy has begun a renewed search for a global partner to help build 12 mine countermeasure vessels (MCMVs) at the state-owned Goa Shipyard in western India. MCMVs are a crucial capability for any navy as they help detect and destroy mines laid by the enemy forces to choke a country’s harbours and spread panic.
The search for a global partner comes in the wake of the aggressive and increasing deployment of Chinese submarines in the Indian Ocean. The stealth attributes of these submarines can lay offensive minefields in Indian waters.
The Chinese Navy has more than 100 MCMVs while the Indian Navy is still on a lookout to add at least 24 of such anti-mine vessels at the cost of $5 billion.
The global request of information which has been issued by the Indian Navy reads “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.”
This is the third such attempt in the last 14 years to indigenously develop minesweepers with a single skin and non-stiffened hull in collaboration and transfer of technology with strategic global partners.
Previously, in 2018, the Indian Government sent out an Expression of Interest (EoI) to Germany’s ThyssenKrupp, Russian Shipyards, South Korea’s Kangnam Corporation, Italy’s Intermarine and Spain’s Navantia.
Following the EoI the Indian Government and the state-owned Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) tried to partner with South Korean to acquire and build 12 MCMVs. However, the deal fell apart as the parties were unable to reach an understanding with differences on Transfer of Technology (ToT) and costs.
The agreement, if successful, would have been the first major such defence hardware deal between the two countries.
Source : Swarajya Magazine