Defence Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday during a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) cleared the decks for the biggest-ever naval defence deal worth over ₹20,000 crore to acquire four Landing Platform Docks (LPDs) under the ‘Make in India’ programme.
To bag the contract, the biggest ever for the private sector, L&T has tied up with Navantia of Spain and Reliance Defence has signed an agreement with French naval defence giant DCNS to build the 20,000-tonne platforms.
Earlier, the proposal floated in 2013 was to build two ships in the private sector and two on nomination basis at state-run Hindustan Shipyard Ltd (HSL). Originally, ABG, RDEL and L&T were in the race to qualify. Eventually, ABG was disqualified due to the poor financial health, sources said. Later, the government decided to change the contract terms and only the private sector was allowed to bid. RDEL and L&T had secured technical and financial approvals from the Indian Navy in 2016.
These LPDs are expected to be inducted into the Indian Navy in the next decade and will have a capacity to transport nearly six battle tanks with hundreds of Indian Army troops. These ships do not need a berthing dock. Each of these costs ₹6,500 crore.
The company that will finally bag the order will build two LPDs and will assist HSL in constructing the remaining two.
News source: http://www.
Image source: https://www.google.co.in