The Indian Navy's bid to equip itself with four new Landing Platform Docks (LPDs) on the lines of its 10-year-old INS Jalashwa, the first it got from the US Navy in 2007, has picked pace. The Indian Ministry of Defence is all set to seek fresh commercial bids from two contenders for building the LPDs - Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Reliance Defence and Engineering (RDEL), which was formerly Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering Company Limited.
The new LPD tender is estimated to be worth ₹20,000 crore and will massively boost the revenues for the company that bags this contract. The tendering is to be done on a Lowest Bidder or L1 basis and the decision of the Government of India would be on which one of the two bidders will build the four LPDs for the Indian Navy. According to Vice Admiral DM Deshpande, Controller of Warship Production and Acquisition, "If all goes well, a contract for procurement of Landing Pontoon Docks will be finalised by the end of this year".
Once the winner is decided, the LPD project will be the biggest ever order given by the Ministry of Defence to the private sector in India. This will also be the first tender that goes to the private sector under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Make in India' initiative. New Delhi wants to build four of these amphibious warfare ships indigenously, which would be the biggest ever warship made in the country other than the 40,000-t