India’s Ministry of Defence has issued four shipbuilding requests for proposal (RFP) for the acquisition of various ships and craft for the country’s navy and coast guard.
As informed, the RFPs amount to INR 150 billion (around USD 2.2 billion) and are part of the Indian government’s defence modernization plan.
Specifically, RFP for 06 nos next-generation missile vessels (NGMVs) has been issued to seven shipyards. In addition, RFPs for 08 nos fast patrol vessels (FPVs) and 12 nos air cushion vehicles (ACVs), as well as 08 nos missile-cum-ammunition barges, have been issued to shortlisted Indian shipyards.
The RFP for ACVs also includes the initial requirement for 06 nos ACVs of the Indian Army.
In addition to the above, a few other RFPs for more shipbuilding projects are likely to be issued in the next few months, according to the defence ministry.
In order to make the process of qualifying the shipyards for the issue of RFPs for shipbuilding projects more objective and to encourage participation by a larger number of Indian shipyards, an exercise was undertaken by the ministry along with the navy and coast guard. This led to the rationalization of guidelines for capacity assessment of shipyards that have been promulgated recently, the defense ministry said.
Rationalisation and promulgation of financial selection criteria have paved the way for issue of RFPs for a large number of shipbuilding projects that have been pending. Further, in a move to encourage smaller shipyards, participation in the projects with the anticipated annual outflow of less than INR 750 million has been restricted to smaller shipyards having an average annual turnover less than INR 5 billion.
In addition to a wide application in military and coastal surveillance, air cushion vehicles have substantial potential in the commercial sector like civil transportation, disaster management and tourism. Considering the need for absorbing the relevant design and construction technology for building these craft in India at affordable cost, the RFP includes a feature to encourage joint development of design by Indian shipyards in collaboration with a foreign design house of ACVs. It also includes an option to source the design for construction of ACVs with substantial Indian content.
Last month, the defense ministry also issued an expression of interest (EOI) seeking potential partners for the navy’s P-75(I) indigenous submarine project. Under a project that is expected to cost USD 6.4 billion, the country plans to build a total of six conventionally-powered submarines that would be designed and built in India.