Panaji: The Indian Army’s capabilities to take on the Chinese People’s Liberation Army at Pangong Tso will be augmented by Goa Shipyard Limited as the defence sector shipyard has emerged as the lowest bidder in a contract to build 12 high altitude super speciality patrol crafts.
The boats, said a source, will be used to monitor and counter China’s activities within the waters of Pangong Tso lake in eastern Ladakh.
“Goa Shipyard Ltd has emerged as L1 (lowest bidder) for construction of 12 advanced fast patrol crafts for Indian Army though competitive bidding,” said a GSL official. “The craft will be a new product for us and based on an in-house design.”
Pangong Tso has emerged as a focus point in the ongoing stand-off between the Chinese PLA and the Indian Army since May. China has mobilized troops and vessels to patrol the waters of the Pangong Tso and prior to winter setting in, blocked Indian patrols.
The Indian Army already has 17 boats purchased from USA for quick-reaction team which patrol the lake located at an altitude of 13,900-feet. However, given China’s aggressive posture, the need has been felt to further augment India’s capabilities to match the heavier Type-928B patrol boats being used by the People’s Liberation Army.
“The Indian Army floated a tender a few months earlier for high altitude super speciality craft and GSL emerged as the lowest bidder. These craft will be fast and agile and will benefit the Indian Army,” said a source.
There have been incidents of aggressive manoeuvrers by patrolling Chinese vessels in the lake, including instances of PLA ramming their boats into the Indian boats. The 134-km-long Pangong lake, two-thirds of which is controlled by China as it extends from Tibet to India, has been a major flashpoint between the two countries over the years.