31 Mar 16. Kangnam Selected by India To Build Minesweepers. South Korea’s Kangnam Corporation has emerged as a sole bidder to respond to a global expression of interest (EOI) floated by India’s state-owned Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) last year to jointly build 12 mine countermeasure vessels (MCMV). A source with GSL described the response and said the joint effort would cost the Indian Navy $5bn. Since Kangnam is the sole respondent to the EOI, leading to a single vendor situation, GSL had sought special permission from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) last month to go ahead with selecting the South Korean company as its technology transfer partner. Last week, the MoD accepted the GSL’s proposal, paving the way for inking the contract with Kangnam, a GSL source said.
Kangnam will transfer technology and help in the production of the MCMVs. However, no details of the business arrangement between the South Korean company and GSL is known. A GSL source, however, said they will pay about $1bn to Kangnam in the form of a technology transfer fee to build MCMVs.
A final contract will be awarded to Kangnam within the next six months, a GSL source added.
Kagnam did not put up a stall at Defexpo and no company executives were available for comments.
The Indian Navy needs the MCMVs and had initiated the request for the acquisition nearly 14 years ago.
In September 2015, GSL sent an EOI to Kangnam, Intermarine of Italy, Navantia of Spain, Lockheed Martin of the United States, ThyssenKrupp of Germany and two Russian shipyards seeking participation to transfer the technology for building MCMVs.
Kangnam has already helped GSL modernize the shipyard’s facilities to build MCMVs and was the preferred technology transfer partner.
Earlier, in response to a 2008 global tender, Kangnam had bettered Italy’s Intermarine Shipyard — its closest competitor — and had even cleared price negotiations.
However, the deal could not be inked because of charges of alleged use of defense agents, not allowed by Indian law, by the South Korean company, and the deal was cancelled in early 2014 when GSL asked to build the MCMVs on a nomination basis.
After cancelling the 2008 global tender, the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi put the tender in Buy and Make (India) category.
GSL, which was selected to produce the MCMVs, in turn had sought global partnership in jointly building the MCMVs in India, as none of the Indian shipyards have the technology to build these specialized vessels.
An Indian Navy official said the MCMVs are sophisticated technology products, including the hull material, acoustic and magnetic-reduced signatures and mine-hunting sonars.
After absorption of technology from Kangnam, the shipyard will be able to build these MCMVs on its own at a later stage, a GSL source said.
MCMVs use specialized composite material and high grade steel and are equipped to detect all kinds of underwater mines. The Indian Navy operates around six aging Russian made MCMVs.
Indian Navy has a total requirement of 24 MCMVs and there will be an additional order of 12 MCMVs to top the current order of 12 MCMVs, GSL source added. (Source: Defense News)
31 Mar 16. Competition Nears for New US Army Landing Craft. A competition is nearing for a new fleet of US Army watercraft to replace the service’s Vietnam-era “Mike Boat,” the Army’s program executive officer for combat support and combat service support said.
“We are working our way toward a [request for proposals] for Maneuver Support Vessel (Light) which will replace the [Landing Craft Mechanized 8 (LCM-8)] landing craft,” Scott Davis said at a recent Association of the US Army conference in Huntsville, Alabama.
And according to an industry source, the RFP is expected to be released within the next few weeks.
The upcoming competition marks the first major watercraft procurement in 15 years and is seen as vital to the Army’s increasing focus on the Pacific Rim. Yet, the watercraft have proved their