In a significant development in the indigenous shipbuilding, Ministry of Defence has issued four shipbuilding Requests for Proposal (RFP) amounting to Rs 15,000 crore for the acquisition of various ships and craft for the Navy and the Coast Guard. While the RFP for 06 nos Next Generation Missile Vessels (NGMVs) has been issued to seven shipyards, RFPs for 08 nos Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs) and 12 nos Air Cushion Vehicles (ACVs) and 08 nos Missile-cum-Ammunition Barges have been issued to shortlisted Indian shipyards. The RFP for ACVs also includes the initial requirement for 06 nosACVs of the Indian Army. In addition to the above, a few more RFPs for more shipbuilding projects are likely to be issued in the next few months.
In order to make the process of qualifying the shipyards for the issue of RFPs for shipbuilding projects of various ships and craft of the Navy and the Coast Guard more objective and to encourage participation by a larger number of Indian shipyards, an exercise was undertaken by the Ministry along with Indian Navy and Coast Guard. This led to rationalisation of guidelines for capacity assessment of shipyards that have been promulgated recently. Rationalisation and promulgation of financial selection criteria have paved the way for issue of RFPs for a large number of shipbuilding projects that have been pending. Further, in a significant move to encourage smaller shipyards, participation in the projects with the anticipated annual outflow of less than Rs 75 crore has been restricted to smaller shipyards having an average annual turnover less than Rs 500 crore.
In addition to a wide application in military and coastal surveillance, Air Cushion Vehicles have substantial potential in the commercial sector like civil transportation, disaster management and tourism. Considering the need for absorbing the relevant design and construction technology for building these craft in India at affordable cost, a feature to encourage joint development of design by Indian Shipyards in collaboration with a foreign design house of ACVs or by sourcing the design for construction of ACVs with substantial Indian content has been included in the RFP for ACV