Defence Ministry Issues Tender For More Than 200 Naval Helicopters

NEW DELHI: In what can be labelled as one of the biggest global tenders for helicopters issued recently, a Request For Information was issued by India’s Defence Ministry for more than 200 helicopters for the Indian Navy. This tender is going to be done according to the new Strategic Partnership model.

If official sources are to be believed, the RFI was issued for 111 Naval Utility Helicopters and 123 Naval Multi-role Helicopters, with anti-submarine warfare capabilities.

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And there is a strong possibility of both coming the Strategic Partnership model of the new Defence Procurement Procedure. Both will be global tenders for Original Equipment Manufacturers.

One of the most intriguing features of the Strategic Partnership policy is that it envisages the establishment of long-term strategic partnerships with qualified Indian industry majors, wherein it is the responsibility of the Indian industry partners to collaborate with global original equipment manufacturers, in order to get the best out of technology transfer and manufacturing know-how with regard to setting up domestic manufacturing infrastructure and supply chains in defence manufacturing.

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According to experts, there is an inclusion of four sectors who have been finalised for the model at this point of time – fighter aircraft, helicopters, submarines and armoured fighting vehicles and main battle tanks.

The last date to respond to the RFI is October 6.

“Both proposals for the NUH and NMRH were pending for long as the finalisation of Strategic Partnership model took long. The Naval Utility Helciopters will replace the aging fleet of Chetak helicopters. The Indian Navy has been facing a shortage of helicopters, and requires the Multi-Role Helicopters for deployment on its warships,” pointed out a source on the condition of anonymity.

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Three years back, Defence Ministry had scrapped a Rs. 6,500 crore Navy helicopter deal for puchasing 16 multi-role helicopters for the Navy from US to promote ‘Make in India’ in the military sector.