In yet another multi-billion dollar deal for the purchase of hi-tech warships, the Indian Navy is all set to place an order for eight minesweepers from South Korea.
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The purchase will further add teeth to the existing capacity of the Indian Navy.
The ministry of defence has initiated cost negotiations with South Korean firm ‘Kangnam Corporation’ and is expected to be completed in a month or two. Immediately after that the order will be finally placed.
The cost of acquisition of these sophisticated ships will be in the range of USD 670 million per ship. Kangnam Corporation will build the first two warship in South Korea and remaining six will be built in India at Goa Shipyard Limited under licensed technology transfer.
Minesweepers generally detect then neutralize mines in advance of other naval operations. Th Indian Navy currently operates 12 minesweepers of the Pondicherry / Karwar class and are equally divided between the western and the eastern commands.
Apart from the purchase of brand new minesweepers, the Indian Navy is considering buying two used Osprey-class minesweepers from the US that were decommissioned by the US Navy in 2007. The US Congress has already cleared the sale of these two vessels to friendly countries.
The Obama administration had in 2010 offered these two minesweepers to India, which had expressed its interest in acquiring them in April 2005.
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