Project Alert: Mine Counter Measure Vessels (MCMV)

Defence Program: Mine Counter Measure Vessels (MCMV) for Indian Navy

RFI Issued: 3rd Aug 2023

Quantity: 12 Nos.

Total required Quantity: 26 Nos.

Estimated Cost: Over Rs 35000 Crores

Category: Buy (Indian-IDDM) / Buy (Indian)

Likely Contenders: Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL), L&T Shipbuilding, Mazagon Dock Limited, Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers, Cochin Shipyard Limited

Current Status: The interested Indian Shipyards need to submit their responses to the issued RFI response date by 29 September 2023.

Brief: The Indian Navy has been intending to procure advanced Mine Counter Measure Vessels (MCMV) for nearly 15 years.

To replace these, the ‘blue water force’ began its search in 2005; however, till date it is yet to induct new minesweepers.

Currently, the Navy does not operate even a single minesweeper, with the last among a fleet of six such vessels (bought from the Soviet Union in the late 1970s) being decommissioned four years ago.

The Indian Navy has launched a fresh hunt to buy 12 Mine Counter-Measure Vessels (MCMVs) from Indian shipyards to strengthen its mine-warfare capabilities.

This latest attempt to buy the MCMVs comes after at least three previous failed attempts.

The development comes five years after negotiations with a South Korean shipyard for new minesweeper vessels collapsed at the final stage

The Rs 32,640-crore programme for 12 MCMVs to be built at Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) in collaboration with a Busan-based yard, Kangnam Corporation, was cancelled by the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) in 2018.

Also, in November 2014, the Indian Government had scrapped a Rs 2,700 Crores contract for acquiring two minesweeper vehicles from a South Korean firm and rest six to be built by Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) under technology transfer.

The reason for cancellation was cited was due to the allegations that the Korean firm had hired middlemen to swing the deal in its favour.

Failing to procure new MCMVs through all the above attempts, in August 2021, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) issued a Request for Information (RFI) for four used MCMVs hoping to get them on lease from a foreign government for the Indian Navy.

The RFI stipulated requirement of three to four such units to be procured or leased, whose first vessel was supposed to be delivered in a maximum 10 months.

The others were to follow by delivery every 4 months.

However, like its predecessors, this proposal as well, did not go through.

The Indian Navy has now issued a fresh RFI on 3rd August 2023 to buy 12 new MCMVs from Indian shipyards.

These minesweepers capable of finding, destroying, and laying mines, would be constructed over a period of eight years. Further, the MCMVs should be capable of operating in Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

The order will be divided between L1 (lowest bidder) and L2 shipyards in an 8:4 ratio, wherein L2 shipyard will be required to construct the ships at the L1 cost.

The anticipated delivery timeline for the MCMVs is proposed between 2030 and 2037.

The last date to response to the RFI is 29 September 2023.

The shipyards are requested to provide complete details with regards to any agreement and/ or collaboration with foreign firms / OEMs regarding Design and Production Monitoring Technology.

Furthermore, the details of design Transfer of Technology (ToT), Construction ToT, and maintenance ToT, if any, with exact Scope of ToT, also needs to be forwarded along with indicative costing by the Indian Shipyards.

Likely Contenders:

According to multiple sources, the following Indian shipyards may response to the RFI issued –

  • Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL)
  • L&T Shipbuilding
  • Mazagon Dock Limited
  • Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers
  • Cochin Shipyard Limited

Brief Specifications:

Operational Roles. The Primary, Secondary and Constabulary roles that MCMVs are envisaged to perform are as follows: –

  • Primary Roles. Mine Counter Measures using unmanned MCM suite.
  • Secondary Roles.
  1. Channel mapping, route survey and sanitisation.
  2. SAR and HADR.
  3. Mine laying.
  4. Local naval defence.
  • Constabulary Role. These ships would be deployed for the following constabulary role: –
  1. Coastal surveillance.
  2. MIO and VBSS operations in Indian Maritime Zones

Critical Design Drivers:

  • Standoff MCM operation capability using unmanned MCM suite.
  • Capability to launch, recover and operate two Compact Autonomous
  • Surface Craft – All Domain Effects (CASCADE) Autonomous Surface Vehicle (ASV), four Heavyweight Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) and one Ship launched Multi Utility Long Endurance (MULE) Multicopter or Naval Shipborne Unmanned Aerial System (NSUAS).

Operating Philosophy:

  • It is envisaged that the MCMV will be deployed for MCM operation remaining outside the mine field with unmanned MCM suite operating in mine field. The MCMV will have Stand-off mine hunting and mine sweeping capabilities through onboard MCM Command & Control system and unmanned tool box for MCM operations as follows: –
  • CASCADE deployable from MCMV to operate in the minefield and transport AUVs and ROVs from mother ship to identify, classify and neutralise the mines.
  • Conduct of wide area survey of the minefield for mine detection utilising CASCADE and Heavy Weight AUVs using side-scan and synthetic aperture sonars to detect Mine like objects (MLO).
  • Mine identification, classification and neutralisation utilizing ROVs transported by CASCADE into minefield.
  • Mine sweeping utilising CASCADE with towed acoustic and influence sweep equipment capable of sweeping and neutralizing influence mines.
  • Ship launched Multi Utility Long Endurance (MULE) Multicopter or Naval Shipborne Unmanned Aerial System (NSUAS) as part of MCM tool box with ISR capabilities to provide comprehensive situational awareness in the mine field and to act as relay between AUVs and Mothership.

MCM Command and Control system on the MCMV for the following: –

  • Plan, execute and evaluate MCM and route survey missions from MCMV.
  • Command and Control System for CASCADE, HWAUV, ROVs, NSUAS and MULE as required.

Minimum Dimensions:

  • Length – 87 m ± 5%
  • Breadth – 15 m ± 5%
  • Draught – 4.1 m ± 5%
  • Displacement: 2800 Tons ± 10%


  • Max Speed ≥ 20 Knots
  • Economical Speed 14 Kn (endurance ≥ 2500 nm)
  • The ship should be able to undertake prolonged low speed running for MCM operations between 0- 6 Kn.

Endurance and Range:

  • Endurance ≥ 2500 nm at 14 Knots. The ship should be able to sustain at sea for approx. 8-10 days (with 25% reserve of fuel) without OTR at economical speed.

Sea Worthiness:

  • Operational seaworthiness upto Sea State 4.
  • Transit on all headings upto Sea State 4.
  • Survivability upto Sea State 6.

Propulsion: CODOE configuration with Two Diesel Engine and Two Electric Motors

Operating Conditions:

  • Operating Profile – The broad operating profile of the ship would be as follows: –

  • The ship should be available for deployment at 4 hours normal notice and 30 minutes short notice.
  • Regime of Operation – Normal, MCM quiet regimes for various conditions of operation.
  • All machinery (other than AC plants) are to be designed to perform at rated conditions under the following environmental conditions unless otherwise specified:-
  1. Ambient Air temperature. -10 degree C to 45 degree C.
  2. Max Relative Humidity. 95% at 32 degree C.
  3. Ambient Sea Water Temp. Max 35 degree C.
  4. Salinity of Water. Upto 36000 PPM.
  • The air conditioning plants are to be deigned to perform at rated conditions under the following environmental conditions:
  1. Ambient Air temperature. 41 degree C Dry Bulb (extreme ambient temperature 45 degree C).
  2. Sea Surface Water temperature. 38 degree C.
  • All machinery, its sub-assemblies and control systems should be able to perform continuous operations with machinery compartment conditions as follows: –
  1. Normal operating conditions upto 55 degree C.
  2. Operation in closed conditions >70 degree C.

Also, worth mentioning that the Mine Counter Measure Vessels (MCMVs) will be operated by Manpower/ Crew.

Thus, the training to IN personnel on operation and maintenance along with schedules is to be imparted by the shipyard / OEM of equipment at Shipyards/ OEM premises and (or) IN premises.

And, so the Shipyard needs to indicate acceptance for the same.

Further, the Shipyard is also required to indicate feasibility of provisioning of simulator for imparting Operational Training for MCMVs (proposal to be forwarded for examination).

Noteworthy, the ship should have a service life of 30 years.

In addition, the ship would follow an operational cycle of ≥ 60 months, followed by a period of refit of approx. 06 months.

Current Status:

The interested Indian Shipyards need to submit their responses to the issued RFI response date by 29 September 2023.

After receiving the responses, the Indian Defence Ministry will shortlist the qualified shipyards, and these will subsequently be issued Request for Proposal (RFP) or tender which is most likely by next year. 

Download Link of the latest issued RFI:

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