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Eight minesweeper vessels to be built in India: Parrikar

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The Soviet-built Pondicherry-class minesweeper INS Kozhikode of Indian Navy. An official photo

PANAJI (PTI): Eight minesweeper naval vessels will be built by Goa Shipyard Ltd. with maximum indigenous technology under the 'Make in India' campaign, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has said.

"In-principle it has been decided that the work for constructing eight minesweepers would be awarded to Goa Shipyard Limited. This would be under 'Make in India' campaign," he told reporters in Panaji on Sunday.

Earlier, similar kinds of vessels were being brought from outside India and later modified here.

"But in this case, they will be built in India with indigenous technology being used at its maximum. Only in case they require technological help, they can get it after following proper procedures," the Minister said.

Parrikar said that it was not possible to make a completely indigenous ship.

"Foreign collaborations would be restricted to hi-tech items and technological transfers," he said.

The government, he said, is decreasing the dependence on foreign countries for defence-related procurements.

"Energy security and war are things in which you require your own resources during the critical moments. Due to some reasons, if suppliers put embargo, the machinery will come to a halt," he said.

"You have to have a proper strategy for your procurement.

The best thing is that whenever possible make or buy the equipment indigenously," the minister said.

The construction of the minesweepers, also referred as the mine countermeasure vessels, had recently run into controversy after the government withdrew a contract awarded to a firm due to violation of a clause.

Parrikar said the tender awarded to the firm in the past has been called off and an 'integrity bond' of Rs 3 crore which was submitted by it has been confiscated.

A minesweeper is a small warship designed to counter the threat posed by naval mines and keep the waterways clear for shipping.

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