NEW DELHI - India to obtain 12 advanced minesweepers for the Navy after no headway was seen in the sealing of a pact for a Rs 32,000 crore project between the Goa Shipyard and the South Korean company. The Indian Navy is in dire need of minesweepers or mine counter-measure vessels to safegaurd the country’s most important sea lanes in light of China stepping up on its naval activities in the Indian Ocean area as well as tense Indo-Sino ties.
“We will issue fresh EoI (Expression of Interest) for the project very soon. It will be issued this month,” news agency PTI quoted Ltd Rear Admiral (retd) Shekhar Mital, Chairman of state-run Goa Shipyard as saying.
The shipyard had to cancel the discussions pertaining to the deal with Kangnam Corporation after disagreements over several issues, including the terms and conditions for transfer of technology.
The EoI is possibly going to be issued to many foreign defence majors which manufacture these minesweepers.
According to the original understanding, the Goa Shipyard and the Kangam Corporation were to manufacture 12 minesweepers in India under the Make in India initiative and were to deliver them within a time period of nine years from the date the project began.
But both the parties could not come to an agreement on many key points in the project.
A parliamentary standing committee on defence last year had slammed the government for delay in procurement of the minesweepers and asked it to make efforts to fill the gap in the Navy’s capabilities. The minesweeper ships detect and destroy underwater mines and are considered vital for keeping the critical sea lanes safe.