Navy to get ad­vanced choppers

Ini­ti­ate steps to pro­cure 123 Multi-Role, 111 Naval Util­ity He­li­copters from abroad

The Hindu - - NEWS -

With ex­pand­ing pro­file in the In­dian Ocean Re­gion, the In­dian Navy is look­ing to add to its fleet ded­i­cated he­li­copters for ‘Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions’. Some of the Naval Multi-Role He­li­copters (NMRH) for which the ten­der was is­sued last week will be in this con­fig­u­ra­tion.

“Of the 123 NMRH to be pro­cured, 33 will be ded­i­cated vari­ants for Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions,” a se­nior of­fi­cer told The Hindu.

Strate­gic Part­ner­ship

Last week, the Navy had is­sued the Re­quest for In­for­ma­tion (RFI) to global Orig­i­nal Equip­ment Man­u­fac­tur­ers (OEM) for the pro­cure­ment of 123 NMRH and 111 Naval Util­ity He­li­copters (NUH). The pro­cure­ment would be un­der the re­cently ap­proved Strate­gic Part­ner­ship (SP) model of the De­fence Pro­cure­ment Pro­ce­dure (DPP).

Some of the 33 he­li­copters would be used for train­ing Ma­rine Com­man­dos (MAR­COS) and the rest would be based on shore as well as on front­line war­ships, the of­fi­cer added.

The he­li­copters would be twin-en­gine and weigh at least 12.5 tonnes. Ac­cord­ing to the RFI, the re­quire­ments in­clude the abil­ity to carry 12 fully equipped troops along with 400 Kg of equip­ment or eight fully equipped troops and one auto in­flat­able craft in a stowed con­fig­u­ra­tion.

In ad­di­tion to spe­cial op­er­a­tions and com­mando role, the he­li­copters will also per­form other roles like fer­ry­ing troops, mar­itime in­ter­dic­tion in­clud­ing anti-piracy op­er­a­tions, com­bat search and res­cue op­er­a­tion, ex­ter­nal cargo car­riage, lim­ited ca­su­alty evac­u­a­tion (CASEVAC) and Hu­man­i­tar­ian As­sis­tance and Dis­as­ter Re­lief (HADR).

The Navy cur­rently has a few vari­ants of Sea King he­li­copters in ser­vice. But they are of 1970s vin­tage and tech­no­log­i­cally ob­so­lete. Sev­eral at­tempts to re­place them have failed in the past.

Fly­ing high: A file photo of a Sea King he­li­copter.

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