India is to acquire at least eight warships from South Korea in a bid to bolster its maritime defense, under a proposed defense deal likely to be inked soon, local media reported.
As part of a growing "strategic partnership" with South Korea, India will buy at least eight advanced minesweeping and hunting warships -- it will get two of the vessels from South Korean firm Kangnam Corporation, while the other six will be manufactured by Goa Shipyard in western India after transfer of technology, 'The Times of India' newspaper reported.
"The contract is now being finalized after the conclusion of the commercial negotiations," an unnamed source was quoted as saying.
India will used these warships to detect and destroy underwater mines, often planted by both state as well as non-state actors, the report said.
"Underwater mines are cheap weapons that can be used for high- impact incidents. It's relatively easy for someone to lay mines at the harbor approach or departure routes. There is need to step up the protection of our harbors and offshore installations," an official said.