Indian water vulnerable with inadequate Mine Sweepers

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Mines are not only found on lands; they threaten lives in water as well.

Indian water, at present, is very vulnerable against sea-mines as now our navy is left with just 6 Mine Sweepers.

The 7th one - INS Alleppey - is going to be decommissioned this year.

Its a Russian Natya Class Mine Sweeper which has been in service since 1980.

Key Points

  • Indian Navy has earmarked 14 ports - 12 of them very sensitive - to be proteceted by Mine Sweepers Ships which clears mines laid out by enemy.
  • These ships keep critical strategic and communication points like shipping lines and ports safe by detecting and defusing such mines.
  • India needs at least two mine sweepers per port making it 28 for our 14 ports; this translate into a deficit of 22.

The Crunch

  • The crunch has not set in overnight as there has been no purchase of 'Mine Sweeper' since 1988.
  • Indian Navy had bought 12 such vessels from Russia between 1978 and 1988; and four of them are now out of service.

The Road Ahead

  • Goa Shipyard Limited - the defence PSU - has been tasked by the government to fill this vaccum.
  • Its supposed to construct 12 such ships at an estimated cost of Rs 32000 crore.
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