The Indian Defense Ministry has scrapped $1 billion deal to buy 16 helicopters for the navy from US based Sikorsky and will merge the procurement with a Make in India program to produce 140 Naval Multirole Helicopters (NMRH) for its warships.
The Indian government is negotiating on price with foreign vendors even the Contracts Negotiation Committee (CNC) headed by the Joint Secretary and Acquisition Manager (Maritime Systems) recommended the retraction of the tender to the ministry, Mail Today reported Thursday.
Sikorsky was selected by the Indian Navy in December 2014 for the requirement. It was the only bidder as Finmeccanica was chucked out due to the VVIP chopper scam allegations on it.
The American firm (Sikorsky) would extend the validity of its price bid and also reduce price of the choppers, Defence Ministry sources were quoted as saying in a move to keep the deal alive.
The helicopters were sought for upgrading navy’s anti-submarine warfare capabilities. Sikorsky asked for a price raise to meet inflation after the tender bid was opened. The defense ministry however sought a further cut in the offered price in the bid. Sikorsky had offered the naval variant of US Army’s Black Hawk UH-60 helicopter.