Goa Shipyard Limited up for tech swap with S Korean firm


Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL), the Vasco-based defence public sector undertaking (DPSU) is on the verge of concluding transfer of technology (ToT) negotiations with South Korean defence equipment manufacturers for a 32,000 crore project to build 12 mine counter measure vessels (MCMV) for the Indian Navy.

MCMVs are special defence ships meant to detect and destroy mines placed in water to wreck ships or submarines that bump into them. An MCMV uses remote-controlled underwater robots to detonate mines.

Mines are considered as traps, same like land based mines, they were buried in the sea, there were three kind of mines found in sea, floating mines, moored mines and bottom mines, the floating mines are easily detected by visually, however moored and bottom mines needs mine-sweeping systems, acoustic devises and magnetic cables to disarm or safely detonate the mines, detecting the underwater Mines is pretty hard, due to it’s size and signatures. to safely disarm or detonate the mine the ship could have towed systems, like towed sonar system which can be extended up to some 1500 feet off from the Ship,

The ship comes with a remote mine hunting vehicle RMV, which confirms and gives visual information to the crew about the presence of mines, which are already identified by the towed sonar system, the RMV uses multiple IR Camera’s to visually confirms the mine, a cutting device used to cut the moored mines chain to surface it safely, which allows the crew work safely to dis arm the mine.

Practically mines are more smart enough to escape from the mine hunters and work very smartly which didn’t allowed him to disarm, thus need a special equipment to activate the mine and safely detonate far from the ship, those mines works with the submarines acoustic signature , means it can explode when it detects submarines presence through it’s acoustic signature, during the early days those mines comes with magnetic detection, which can attract the metals of the ships then explode, which caused severe damages to the allied forces Navy during the world war two, later they went to non magnetic hulls, having no magnetic characteristics. so mines too changes from Magnetic to acoustic detection mechanism.

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Only way to clear those mines is destroying it safely, where modern Mine hunters comes with a self propelled acoustic device towed behind the ship, which makes noise and activates the mines using it’s magnetic field, once the field is activated and the ship moves to a safe distance, the mine detonates, which is a known technique to safely detonate such mines, as technology’s changed the need of such modern devices presence must needed in every Mine hunting ships, the Indian Navy’s earlier pondicherry class too have such system, however it’s not enough for future needs,

Usually those mines can be dropped in the sea, using air crafts, and surface ships and submarines, this low cost system allows, to escape from enemy chasing and blockading naval bases. one such mine is stronger enough to disable a bigger warships or submarines, two or three is more than enough to destroys a warship or submarine completely. once enemy ship snooped around friendly waters, the mine hunting ships could operate close to that area for scanning any suspicious mine activity,

As the shipyard begins preparations to start manufacturing the warships, it has already tendered works worth 500 crores to create necessary infrastructure. Goan firms like Dempo, Kineco, Triveni, Chowgule and Aquarius have already tied up with South Korean equipment manufacturers to produce parts in Goa.

“We are about to conclude the ToT. A big delegation from South Korea is visiting on June 27 and 28. We are also calling Goan vendors who have tied up with South Korean counterparts to resolve any concerns,” Shekhar Mital, chairman and managing director of Goa Shipyard Ltd, told TOI .

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After the Union defence ministry quashed a contract awarded in 2008 to the South Korea-based Kangnam Corporation to build the minesweepers, Goa Shipyard was awarded a $5 billion non-competitive contract in 2014 to build 12 MCMVs.

In September 2015, Goa Shipyard floated a global expression of interest from companies willing to transfer the technology to build the vessels in which Kangnam Corporation was the sole respondent.

Sources said the Indian Navy has a total requirement of 24 minesweepers and Goa Shipyard Ltd expects to receive a subsequent order for 12 MCMVs on successful delivery of the current contract.

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