Setback for private shipyards as Navy cancels Rs 20,000 cr Landing Platform Docks contract

Seven years after it first initiated it, the defence ministry has withdrawn a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Rs 20,000 crore Landing Dock Platform project, which is being seen as a setback to private domestic shipyards that were interested in it.

These Landing Dock Platforms (LPDs), also known as amphibious transport docks by some navies, are meant to weigh around 30,000 tonnes, and be able to carry an Army battalion, tanks, and armored carriers into a war zone, along with helicopters.

Sources in the defence and security establishment said the Navy will now decide new qualitative requirements for the amphibious warships, because too much time has elapsed since the RFP was put out.

However, a different set of sources say that more than the ‘time gap’, the real issue was the emergence of a single-vendor situation, with an internal capability assessment going against one of the two shipyards in contention.

The retraction took place on 25 September, sources said, adding that the RFP has been withdrawn after nine extensions and one re-submission of bids in seven years.