Ports sitting ducks for enemy mines

Discussion in 'Indian Navy' started by happy, Oct 27, 2013.

  1. happy

    happy Senior Member Senior Member

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    NEW DELHI: Enemy forces or terror outfits can easily choke harbours and ports by planting underwater mines, which are cheap, relatively simple to use and can unleash havoc by blowing up warships, merchant vessels and tankers.

    But despite a 7,516-km-long coastline and 190 major and minor ports, India has just eight ageing minesweeping vessels to detect and destroy mines. A combination of fund crunch and tardy decision-making, complaints and corruption allegations, has kept the Navy's long-pending project for acquiring eight advanced minesweeping and hunting warships derailed till now.

    Defence ministry sources on Saturday said the contract for the eight new mine counter-measures vessels (MCMVs) — the first two coming directly from South Korean firm Kangnam Corporation and the rest six being manufactured by Goa Shipyard after transfer of technology (ToT) — is ``likely to be deferred'' yet again till the next fiscal.

    The proposed over Rs 7,000-crore project with Kangnam, the first such mega defence deal with South Korea, has had a chequered history. The finalization of the contract with Kangnam was put on hold over two years ago after Italy's Intermarine, one of several contenders defeated in the global tender, complained to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) about irregularities in the selection process.

    ``The deal is still stuck in MoD's red-tape, with objections also being raised during the final contract negotiations...the defence acquisitions council (chaired by defence minister A K Antony) will have to take a call on it now,'' said a source.

    The Navy is alarmed. It is making do with just two old Pondicherry-class and six Karwar-class minesweepers, having deployed four each on the west and east coasts. While the force is modernizing steadily on other fronts, its depleting capabilities in submarines, helicopters and MCMVs has become a huge source of worry.

    Much like the helicopters and submarines, Navy has been clamouring for new MCMVs for well over a decade now. "Hostile actors with just a few mines can blockade important ports like Mumbai, Kandla and Kochi to throttle all mercantile trade for days. Then, of course, both China and Pakistan are fast boosting their fleet of submarines, which can plant mines near our harbours and ports,'' said an officer.

    MCMVs are used to clear the harbour approach or departure routes as well as offshore installations for shipping activity whenever there is a threat. The vessels have high-definition sonars and acoustic and magnetic sweeps to first detect all kinds of marooned and drifting mines and then use remote-controlled systems like small underwater vehicles to then detonate them at safe distances.

    More than 90% of India's trade by volume and 77% by value is transported by sea. Moreover, almost 97% of the country's energy needs of oil are either imported or produced from offshore fields.

    Ports sitting ducks for enemy mines - The Times of India
     
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  3. drkrn

    drkrn Senior Member Senior Member

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    few questions from my side.

    1.what is the naval strength of 10 coastal countries(5 to left and 5 to right of india)
    2.how many naval ships does they possess
    3.what is their capacity to sail up to indian coast/ports to lay down mines.
    4.what is the quality of their navy.

    except pakistan india has no enemies in the IOR.china yet,have no potential to sail this far to attack.pakistani navy is so puny that leaving their coast to attack india leaves them no one to defend.

    will the 8 minesweepers with india are sufficient for defence/offense....
    might not be

    during 1971 bangladesh liberation war,india couldn't clear the mined coasts of bangladesh without russian support.even then we had 8 mine sweeper.
    in todays waar scenario i highly doubt that number usefullness to clear enemy coasts for landing of our troops
     
  4. happy

    happy Senior Member Senior Member

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    I think @Decklander sir can answer accurately.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015

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