Wednesday, October 29, 2008

India Seeks 8 Mine Countermeasure Vessels

India Seeks 8 Mine Countermeasure Vessels (NSI News Source Info) NEW DELHI - October 30, 2008: The Indian Navy has floated global bids worth more than $1.4 billion to acquire eight mine countermeasure vessels (MCMVs) as it expands its blue-water capabilities. France's DCN International, Fincanteri of Italy, Izhar of Spain, Kangnam of South Korea and Northrop Grumman of the U.S. have been invited by the Indian Defence Ministry to participate.
Mine Countermeasure Vessels (MCMVs)
The MCMVs will hunt for mines with a high-definition sonar and then destroy them using explosives by remote-controlled mine-disposal systems. The navy wants the MCMVs to be an important element of its blue-water navy, which is being built to protect Indian interests from the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean, a senior navy official said. The MCMVs will replace the 12 existing Pondicherry-class ocean minesweepers procured in the 1970s and 1980's. The shortlisted shipyards will be expected to transfer technology so six of the craft can be produced at India's state-owned Goa Shipyard. The MCMVs will be made of reinforced plastic with help from several Indian electronic companies that also will provide a variety of radar. A navy official said the MCMVs should be capable of operating in areas of naval interest to locate, classify, sweep, hunt and neutralize all types of marooned and drifting mines. The MCMVs will also be deployed with local naval defense and search-and-rescue missions. The vessel should be 50 to 60 meters long, no wider than 11 meters, have a maximum speed of at least 16 knots and be able to operate at least 10 days with a planned lifespan of 30 years. The MCMVs will be fitted with one lightweight, 30mm anti-surface air gun, two 12.7mm heavy machine guns and two Kavach chaff launchers developed by the state-owned Gun Carriage Factory at Jabalpur. The contract entails compulsory defense offset of about $420 million.

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