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12:48 PM, November 5, 2014
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The Indian Ministry of Defense will now accept commercial bids from Sikorsky later this month for the procurement of 16 multirole helicopters for the Navy.

Contender NHIndustries has reportedly been ejected because of its connection to Finmeccanica which is currently under a partial ban in India.

Both NH-90 and Sikorsky-70B choppers had cleared the technical trials held a couple of years ago," said a MoD source told The Times of India. 

"But their commercial bids were not opened due to various controversies. Now, the Sikorsky bid will undergo evaluation and final price negotiations will follow. The defence procurement policy permits single-vendor situation if the bids were earlier submitted in a competitive manner," he added. 

The procurement 16 new helicopters has been on hold since the Central Bureau of began investigating the now-canceled 556 million euro contract for the 12 VVIP AW-101 helicopters of AgustaWestland, the UK-based subsidiary of Finmeccanica.

With the Modi government implementing "a partial ban" on Finmeccanica, under which ongoing contracts will continue but there will be no fresh deals, the European NH-90 chopper has now been eliminated from the naval chopper procurement case, the report added. 

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