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By Bulbul Singh

11 Oct 13. South Korea is emerging as one of the top defence supplier to India. Reinforcing this, Kangnam Corporation has been awarded the $1.2 billion contract for Indian Navy’s Mine Counter Measure Vessels (MCMV) programme. In addition South Korean companies are aggressively pushing to tap India’s artillery market estimated to be over $8 billion. South Korea is also negotiating with DRDO for joint production of hi-tech weapon projects.

The MCMV deal has been hanging fire for over one year, as the competitor, Intermarine of Italy, had complained to the Indian defence ministry raising issues of transparency in the deal. In 2008 global bids for the procurement been sent to Northrop Grumman of US, Inter Marine of Italy, Izhar of Spain, Kangnam Corp. of South Korea and DCN International of France.

Sources say, the Transfer of Technology (TOT) charges of Inter Marine of Italy were higher at around 40 per cent compared to 20 per cent of Kanganm Corporation.

Under the deal, which has been approved by the Indian defence ministry, said sources, the first two MCMVs will be constructed at Pusan, South Korea and the remaining six will be built at the Goa Shipyard under technology transfer.

The Indian Navy has been demanding the acquisition of MCMV to guard India’s ports against the threat of undersea mines, putting India’s trade at risk. The MCMV’s will be capable of acting as minesweepers and mine hunters.

Kangnam Corporation will also have to supply deliverables for setting up production infrastructure at the production agency in India. The MCMVs will be made of reinforced plastic with the help from several Indian companies which will provide variety of radar. The contract entails compulsory defence Offset calculated at 30 per cent of the total value of the contract.

The MCMC vessels would be capable of operating in areas of Indian Navy’s interest to locate, classify, sweep, hunt and neutralize all types of marooned and drifting mines. Besides, the MCMVs will also be deployed for local naval defence and search and rescue missions.

The technical specifications of the MCMVs include a length of 50 to 60 meters, and the breadth not to exceed 11 meters. The vessels will be able to move at a speed not less than 16 knots at high engine combustion and not less than 11 knots as economical speed and have an endurance of not less than 10 days with a planned life span of 30 years. The MCMV vessel will have mine detection and classification capability using a combination of Hull mounted Sonar, Side Scan Sonar and the sonar will have the capability to mine hunt in 360 degrees arc in shallow waters and be able to classify a mine at ranges not less than 450 meters.

In addition the MCMVs will be fitted with 1x lightweight, anti-surface gun, 2x 12.7 mm Heavy, Machine Guns. In addition the small arms on board include 2x Medium Machine Guns, 2x Light Machine Guns, 8x 7.62 SLR rifles, six pistols, one mortar. The navigation equipment includes two navigation radars, advanced navigation aids, auto pilot system and
advanced navigation lighting.

The total requirement of MCMV is over 35 to guard around 185 ports of India, and the South Korean is likely to get a repeat order for the MCMVs in the future.


Samsung of South Korea has partnered with Larsen & Toubro to develop a homemade 155mm/52 caliber Tracked gun which is likely to give a tough fight to Rosoboronoexport of Russia, another competitor for the Indian Army’s tender for the purchase of 100 155mm/52 caliber tracked guns.

Doosan of South Korea is also in competition for Indian army’s gun systems to replace the Russian Tunguska air defense guns. Another South Korean company, LIG Nex1 is very aggressive in the Indian defence market even though it is a late entrant.

DRDO and LIG Nex1 of South Korea are in advance stages of negotiations to jointly develop port

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