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10:54 AM, September 5, 2014
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The Indian armed forces will get 440 light utility helicopters indigenously developed by state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and private sector firms in partnership with foreign players, local media reported Friday. 

The armed forces had projected their requirements to the Defense Ministry before the government scrapped a $993 million tender to procure 197 such helicopters for the Army and the Air Force.

HAL has already started a project in Tumkur, Karnataka for building light helicopters with a capability to lift 2.5 tonnes payload.

Meanwhile the Defense Acquisition Council headed by Defense Minister Arun Jaitley has scrapped the scam-tainted tender for procuring the choppers to replace the vintage fleet of Cheetah and Chetak choppers used to move troops and equipment to high-altitude locations like Siachen.

The DAC decided to retract the tender for procuring these choppers and the Indian industry would be given the opportunity to produce around 400 such choppers for the requirements of the armed forces.

In line with the Indian government’s plan to develop the indigenous industry, the decision is expected to generate business worth over $6.6 billion for the local industry in the defense sector, the reports added. 

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