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Govt to start process to buy 12 minesweepers afresh

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The will start a fresh process this month to procure 12 advanced minesweepers for the after negotiations for the Rs 32,000-crore project between the and a South Korean company hit a dead-end.

The badly needs the minesweepers or mine counter- measure vessels to guard India's critical sea lanes in the backdrop of China's growing naval might in the region.

"We will issue fresh EoI (Expression of Interest) for the project very soon. It will be issued this month," of state-run Ltd Rear Admiral (retd) told

Sources said the Ltd had to call off the negotiations with following differences over a host of issues including terms and conditions for

The EoI is likely to be issued to a number of major foreign defence majors which build minesweepers.

According to original understanding, the and the were to build 12 minesweepers in under the Make in initiative and the deliveries were to be completed within nine years of the start of the project.

However, both sides struggled to finalise various key aspects of the project.

A parliamentary standing committee on defence last year had slammed the for delay in procurement of the minesweepers and asked it to make efforts to fill the gap in the Navy's capability.

The minesweeper ships detect and destroy underwater mines and are considered vital for keeping the critical sea lanes safe.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, January 08 2018. 15:35 IST