India’s Defence Acquisitions Council (DAC) on Saturday approved purchase of a $2-billion worth multi role helicopters for the country’s Navy through a direct government deal, according to a report by TOI.
The signing of a grant of acceptance of necessity (AoN) for 24 naval multi-role MH-60 ‘Romeo’ choppers by the Nirmala Sitharaman-led DAC comes ahead of the inaugural “two-plus-two” dialogue between India and the US on September 6.
Manufactured by Sikorsky-Lockheed Martin, the NMRH are required to replace the Sea King fleet. They are designed to detect, track and hunt enemy submarines.
The DAC also approved the over INR 21,000 crore procurement of 111 armed naval utility helicopters under the “strategic partnership (SP)” policy, which seeks to boost the Indian private sector’s role in production of advanced weapon systems in tie-ups with foreign armament majors, the report said.
The 111 twin-engine choppers will replace the ageing fleet of single-engine Chetak helicopters. The four global aviation majors in contention are Airbus, Bell, Sikorsky-Lockheed Martin and Russian Helicopters.
In addition, The DAC also approved the procurement of 14 vertically-launched short-range surface-to-air missile systems for stealth frigates and anti-submarine warfare corvettes from European firm MBDA. “Ten of these air defence systems will be produced in India,” an official was quoted as saying.