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Russia, Italy Vying for Indian Navy's $5 Billion Minesweeper Contract

© AP Photo / Rafiq MaqboolIndian navy person stands guard on board war ship Godavari during its decommissioning at the naval dockyard in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015
Indian navy person stands guard on board war ship Godavari during its decommissioning at the naval dockyard in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015 - Sputnik International
With the Indian Navy's mine countermeasure vessels (MCMV) scheduled to retire by the end of 2018, the world's fifth-largest navy will be left without minesweepers. The Indian Navy needs at least 24 MCMVs to plug the shortfall. China, on the other hand, has more than 100 MCMVs.

New Delhi (Sputnik) — The interest expressed globally by India for the acquisition of 12 minesweepers has received responses from Russian and Italian shipyards. The Indian Navy is looking to acquire the MCMVs by 2026 under the $5 billion contract. MCMVs are essential for the Indian Navy in detecting and destroying mines laid by enemy forces to choke harbors and spread mayhem.

Indian sailors walk beside Indian Navy ships, from left, INS Ranvijay (D55), a Rajput class destroyer, and INS Saptura, a Shivalik-class stealth multi-role frigate, as they arrive at Berth 15, South Harbour, in Manila, Philippines on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - Sputnik International
India-South Korea Collaboration on $4.9 Bln Minesweeper Project Collapses
The Defense Ministry had issued a global expression of interest (EOI) on March 21 this year to South Korea's Kangnam Corporation, Italy's Intermarine, Spain's Navantia, Germany's ThyssenKrupp, and Russian Shipyards. The deadline for submitting a response to the EOI was May 10. 

READ MORE: Indian Defense Ministry Claims Navy ‘Fully Capable’ Despite Shortfalls

This is the third attempt by India in the last 12 years to acquire technology for the indigenous development of minesweepers with a single skin, non-stiffened hull. India's first major defense hardware deal with South Korea for the co-production of 12 minesweepers for the Indian Navy had fallen apart in January this year after prolonged negotiations between Goa Shipyard Limited and Kangnam Corporation, as differences persisted over the transfer of technology and cost.

READ MORE: Indian Navy Can Be a Sitting Duck For Mines From Next Year

Sputnik had reported in January that the Indian Defense Ministry did not agree with Kangnam Corporation, which was seeking over $1 billion for design and technical know-how of the 12 mine countermeasure vessels (MCMV). The South Korean firm had also refused to provide intellectual property rights and production support guarantees for the vessels.

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