As the Rafale fighter jet controversy still persists, the Indian Navy has now made it known that it is running short of minesweeper ships.
The minesweeper ships are crucial to safeguard sea lanes and ports spread across thousands of kilometres of coastlines in the eastern and western seaboards.
It is learnt that the Indian Navy requires 12 minesweeper ships but has only two as of now.
The Indian Navy has told the government that it needs these ships urgently.
Minesweepers are small naval warships that detect and destroy underwater mines and are considered vital for keeping the critical sea lanes safe for movement of essential cargo,including crude oil.
But the Indian Navy sources said that the defence PSU Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL) is in the process of collaborating with a foreign firm for manufacturing minesweepers.
A parliamentary standing committee on defence last year had slammed the government for delay in procurement of the minesweepers and asked it to make efforts to fill the gap in the Navy’s capability.>