NEW DELHI: In a significant development for the indigenous shipbuilding field, Ministry of Defence (MoD) on Monday has issued four shipbuilding Requests for Proposal (RFP) amounting to Rs 15,000 crore for the acquisition of various ships and craft for the Navy and the Coast Guard.
The MoD in its communiqué said, “While the RFP for 06 Next Generation Missile Vessels (NGMVs) has been issued to seven shipyards, RFPs for 08 nos Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs) and 12 nos Air Cushion Vehicles (ACVs) and 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 more RFPs for more shipbuilding projects are likely to be issued in the next few months, added the MoD.
The RFP is being seen to encourage the smaller shipyards having an anticipated annual outflow of less than Rs 75 crore will be given to a shipyard with an average annual turnover less than Rs 500 crore.
Before issuing the RFP the Ministry along with the Navy and the Coast Guard carried out an exercise to make the process of qualifying the shipyards for the issue of RFPs for shipbuilding projects of various ships and craft of the Navy and the Coast Guard more objective and to encourage participation by a larger number of Indian shipyards.
The Ministry of Defence said, “This led to the rationalisation of guidelines for the capacity assessment of shipyards that have been promulgated recently. 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.”
The Ministry added, “Considering the need for absorbing the relevant design and construction technology for building these craft in India at affordable cost, a feature to encourage joint development of design by Indian Shipyards in collaboration with a foreign design house of ACVs or by sourcing the design for construction of ACVs with substantial Indian content has been included in the RFP for ACV.”
In addition to a wide application in military and coastal surveillance, ACVs have substantial potential in the commercial sector like civil transportation, disaster management and tourism.