India seeks to buy $2 bn worth warships to meet security challenges

Bloomberg New Delhi | Updated on July 02, 2019 Published on July 02, 2019

A file picture of Brahmos missle being launched from a warship. (A representational image)

Government invite bids for the construction of six missile warships and other smaller vessels


India sought bids for purchase of warships and support vessels for its navy and coast guard as it ramps up security of its maritime border in the Indian Ocean region.

The government on Monday asked seven shipyards to submit proposals for the construction of six missile warships and other smaller vessels worth ₹15,000 crore ($2.2 billion), the Defence Ministry said in a statement. The tender includes eight fast patrol vessels, 12 hovercrafts and eight missile-cum-ammunition barges.

The shipbuilders invited include private shipyards Larsen & Toubro Ltd. and Reliance Naval & Engineering Ltd., apart from the state-run Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd., Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd., Goa Shipyard Ltd., Hindustan Shipyard Ltd. and Cochin Shipyard Ltd., people with knowledge of the matter said. They asked not to be identified citing rules.

Military modernisation plan

The tenders are part of Modi’s $250-billion military modernisation plan to arm the South Asian nation at a time when it faces threats in its maritime waters from its neighbour China. Beijing has in the past sent its warships to the Indian Ocean region, ostensibly for providing security to its oil tankers.

Shipyards were finalised after consultations with the Navy and the Coast Guard based on their ability to build missile warships, the ministry said in the statement. Financial criteria has also been rationalised to add a larger pool of players, it added.

In addition to the above, a few more request for proposals for more shipbuilding projects are likely to be issued in the next few months, the statement said.

Read also - ₹45,000-cr submarines: Navy issues EoI for shortlisting partners

On June 20, the defence ministry had issued its first military tender under the second Modi government for building six submarines for the Indian Navy for a cost of ₹45,000 crore.

Indian Navy targets a fleet of 200 warships by 2027 but is woefully short with a current strength of 140 warships. The Indian Coast Guard too plans to have 200 vessels by 2022, but is short by 35 ships.

Published on July 02, 2019
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