Delays in the $1 billion Indian Naval Multi-Role Helicopter tender may be attributed to offsets agreement and not contender NH Industries.
The company had previously claimed that its rival Sikorsky could not have met all the conditions of the Navy’s request for proposals.
Indian Navy, for the second time this year, delayed the tender asking the two vendors to extend the validity of their proposals until December 31st without elaborating.
According to an informed source, the delay stems from negotiations over offset clauses and that the issues resulting from the letter NH Industries sent the MoD claiming Sikorsky’s S70B does not meet a number of parameters as outlined in the RFP is no longer relevant.
The primary role of the winning helicopter would be to serve anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare, while its secondary role would include search and rescue, cargo carrying and casualty evacuation.
As per the tender, the winning bidder would be required to supply the first MRH within 46 months in three phases. The Navy will also have the option of placing orders for another 44 helicopters, once the present contract is completed.
“We have satisfied all requirements and are waiting for the lowest bidder to be announced,” said Air Vice Marshal (Retd) Arvind Walia, Regional Executive, India and South Asia, Sikorsky when questioned about progress in the NMRH tender.