The Indian Navy has scrapped a tender to procure four Landing Platform Docks or amphibious warships at a cost of Rs 20,000 crore, nearly seven years after launching the acquisition process, government sources said. The withdrawal of a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the long-pending project was triggered by the Navy’s requirement of new specifications for the amphibious warships which are known as Landing Platform Docks (LPDs), the sources said.

The LPDs are used to transport troops, land warfare assets such as tanks, helicopters and vessels into a war zone by sea. In a report tabled in Parliament, the Comptroller and Auditor General had last month taken strong exception to the India Navy’s failure to conclude the contract to procure the LPDs even after deciding on the acquisition in 2010.

The Navy had issued initial tender for the mega project in 2013. “The qualitative requirement has undergone lot of changes,” said an official.

The Indian Navy now plans to start a fresh bidding process for acquisition of the fleet. Three private sector companies – Reliance Defence and Engineering Limited (RDEL), Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and ABG Shipyard – were in the race initially for the mega project but ABG was disqualified on account of poor financial health Each of the ships were likely to be in the range of 30,000 and 40,000 tonnes.

The national auditor had in September slammed the Navy for not being able to conclude the contract when it is reeling under a shortage of LPDs.