Indian defense ministry has issued two requests for information to global vendors for naval utility helicopters (NUH) and naval multi-role helicopters (NMRH).
The navy is planning to buy 111 NUHs and 123 NMRHs to replace older helicopters.
Under the Make in India plan, the project to acquire NUHs would replace vintage Chetaks whereas other helicopters project will replace older Sea King variants, Hindustan Times reported Tuesday.
The multi-billion dollar projects would be covered under the Defence Procurement Procedure’s strategic partnership model which serves the purpose of getting high-end military technology into the country, Indian Navy officials said.
Further, the model lays down the frame for partnership between Indian companies and foreign military contractors to produce helicopters, fighter jets, submarines as well as armoured vehicles in India.
“We are dealing with an acute shortage of helicopters and these projects are crucial, and the majority of India’s 140 warships were operating without choppers, the Navy officer added.
Previously the government withdrew a tender for importing 56 NUH as it wanted to execute the project under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
Moreover, in June this year, the defence ministry had scrapped a ₹6,500 crore (1 billion) deal for buying 16 naval multirole helicopters from the United States after its hard bargain on price with foreign firm Sikorsky to cut down project cost fell through. That deal was first commissioned in 2009.