India's newly inducted ships, such as INS Chennai, INS Kochi and INS Delhi, are moving without helicopters onboard.
Indian Navy requires at least 100 multi-role helicopters with facilities such as anti-submarine, anti-surface equipment, sonar facility to replace the existing Chetak series.
"We are looking for multi-utility helicopters with facilities such as anti-submarine, anti-surface equipment, sonar facility. It can also perform search and rescue, evacuation, commando (action) among others.” Commanding-in-Chief of the Western Naval Command Vice Admiral Girish Luthra was quoted as saying by DNA India Monday.
“Our requirements are different from that of Indian Army and Air Force," Luthra said. Although new helicopters should have been inducted into the naval fleet by 2008-09, they were yet to arrive, he added.
"We are hoping and seeking early sanctions and conclusion of contracts so that its induction can take place in time. The advanced light helicopters are also being inducted into the naval force, but they cannot be used for all types of navy requirements," he said.
"New helicopters should have been inducted in naval fleet by 2008-09, but they have not arrived yet.” he added.
“It is not about when we want it, we have crossed that line. Currently, we are using old Sea King helicopters for some works." he added.
INS Chennai, a P-15A Guided Missile Destroyer, was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 21 Nov, 2016, similarly INS Kochi on September 30, 2015 and INS Delhi on 15 November 1997.