Minesweeper deal to be inked soon

India and South Korea ready to finalise pact for 12 mine detectors for the Navy

May 30, 2017 10:25 pm | Updated 10:25 pm IST - NEW DELHI

After repeated delays and protracted negotiations, India and South Korea are set to be close to finalising the deal for 12 minesweepers for the Indian Navy.

“Commercial negotiations are in the final stages and should be concluded in the next two months. The technical negotiations have long been completed which also involves the Indian Navy,” a defence source said on Tuesday.

Discussions are underway between Goa Shipyard Limited, which has been nominated as the yard for construction by the government, and Kangnam Corporation of South Korea. The GSL has already created necessary infrastructure and facilities to build the vessels.

The deal for 12 minesweepers or Mine Counter Measure Vessels is worth about ₹32,640 crore and the ships would be manufactured in India under Transfer of Technology. The first ship is expected to be delivered three years after the contract is signed. Minesweepers are crucial to detect mines and explosives planted by the enemy targeting our ships as they enter or leave harbours.

The Navy is presently left with four ageing minesweepers which will be retired by 2018 end. However, efforts to procure new MCMVs have been repeatedly delayed.

The Acceptance of Necessity for construction of 12 new MCMVs was approved by the Defence Acquisition Council on February 28, 2015 on nomination basis to GSL.

Pricing issues delay deal

The Kangnam Corporation was eventually shortlisted as the foreign OEM, but the final deal was still delayed due to pricing and technology issues.

The deal is expected to go beyond 12 as the Navy is keen to order additional ships once the original order is fulfilled.

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