India relaunches competition to build 4 amphibious assault ships

Indian weapons programs are almost always extraordinarily complex, and often they fail even when a winner has been chosen, clashing with the country's technocracy. This was the case for the MMRCA program (126 Rafale) canceled in 2015, as well as the competition to acquire 6 tanker planes, won twice by the A330MRTT in 2006 and 2013, and twice canceled in 2010 and 2016, or from the FGFA program which planned to design with Russia a replacement for the Su-30MKI on the basis of the Su-57 and which was canceled in 2018 by New Delhi. This was also the case for the Multi-Role Support Vessel program which, in 2011, planned to build 4 amphibious helicopter-carrying assault vessels for 16.000 crore (€ 2 billion) and which ended up being canceled in 2020 due to delays. had taken the selection procedure, while the technologies, the geopolitical context and the needs of the Indian Navy had, for their part, changed profoundly during this period.

While technical expectations have changed, the fundamental need to have an assault fleet capable of competing with the Chinese Type 071 and Type 075 remains an urgent matter for the Indian Navy, which must increasingly face Chinese fleet incursions into the Gulf of Bengal and the Indian Ocean. This is the reason why the Indian Minister of Defense has just relaunched the procedure by publishing a request for information for the local construction of 4 amphibious assault helicopter carriers, with a deadline of 60 months for the construction of the first unit, followed by 3 deliveries 12 months apart. If only Indian shipyards are authorized to compete, they can (and will) ally themselves with an international service provider in charge of providing the design and technology transfers essential to the construction of such ships which are, as we know, everything. except simple to produce. Let us recall in this regard that it took 6 years for Russia to start the program 23900 Ivan Rogov, while they had benefited from significant technology transfers under the Mistral program.

INS Vikrant, India's first locally built aircraft carrier and symbol of New Delhi's naval ambition, began sea trials at the end of June 2021

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