In­dia One Step Closer to Naval Util­ity Hepter

In Au­gust last year, In­dian Navy sent out a Re­quest For In­for­ma­tion (RFI) for 111 Naval Util­ity he­li­copters. Th­ese chop­pers will re­place the decades’ old chetaks (Al­lou­ette III) which are reach­ing their air­frame life.

SP's NavalForces - - FRONT PAGE - RO­HIT SRI­VAS­TAVA

In Au­gust last year, In­dian Navy sent out a Re­quest For In­for­ma­tion (RFI) for 111 Naval Util­ity He­li­copters. Th­ese chop­pers will re­place the decades’ old Chetaks (Al­lou­ette III) which are reach­ing their air­frame life. Ro­hit Sri­vas­tava

BREAK­ING ThE LOG­JAM OVER the ex­e­cu­tion of the strate­gic part­ner­ship model, Min­istry of De­fence ( MoD), on Au­gust 25, giv­ing the much de­sired ma­jor flip to the ‘Make in In­dia’ in de­fence, gave its first ap­proval un­der the ‘Strate­gic Part­ner­ship (SP) Model’ for the pro­cure­ment of Naval Util­ity he­li­copters (NUh).

An­nounc­ing the de­ci­sion, Min­istry in a state­ment said, “The De­fence Ac­qui­si­tion coun­cil (DAc), in a land­mark de­ci­sion to­day, ap­proved pro­cure­ment of 111 util­ity he­li­copters for the In­dian Navy at a cost of over ` 21,000 crore. This is the first project un­der the MoD’s pres­ti­gious Strate­gic Part­ner­ship (SP) Model that aims at pro­vid­ing sig­nif­i­cant fil­lip to the Gov­ern­ment’s ‘Make in In­dia’ pro­gramme.”

In Au­gust last year, In­dian Navy sent out a Re­quest For In­for­ma­tion (RFI) for 111 Naval Util­ity he­li­copters. Th­ese chop­pers will re­place the decades’ old chetaks (Al­lou­ette III) which are reach­ing their air­frame life. The deal is ex­pected to cost the ex­che­quers around ` 21,738 crore ($3.2 bil­lion). Th­ese chop­pers will op­er­ate from front­line war­ships and off­shore pa­trol ves­sels and will also op­er­ate from shore for search and res­cue op­er­a­tions. The first RFI for NUH was floated in 2010 fol­lowed by Re­quest For Pro­posal (RFP) in 2012 which was can­celled in 2014. Talk­ing about the SP Model, the state­ment said, “The model has a longterm vi­sion of pro­mot­ing In­dia as a man­u­fac­tur­ing hub for de­fence equip­ment thus en­hanc­ing self-suf­fi­ciency and es­tab­lish­ing an in­dus­trial and R&D ecosys­tem, ca­pa­ble of meet­ing the fu­ture re­quire­ments of the armed forces. The con­tract when fi­nalised, would re­sult in a vi­brant and wide-spread de­fence in­dus­trial ecosys­tem in the In­dian avi­a­tion sec­tor with the pri­vate in­dus­try and MSMEs as ma­jor stake­hold­ers.”

The model pro­vides for indige­nous man­u­fac­tur­ing of ma­jor de­fence plat­forms by an In­dian Strate­gic Part­ner, who will col­lab­o­rate with for­eign orig­i­nal equip­ment man­u­fac­turer, ac­quire niche tech­nolo­gies and set up pro­duc­tion fa­cil­i­ties in the coun­try.

The ten­der is ex­pected to see Air­bus field­ing its Pan­ther AS565 and H135M against Rus­sian Ka-226T Naval and Siko­rsky S-76D, Bell, Au­gusta West­land (if al­lowed). Out of 111, 95 he­li­copters are ex­pected to be man­u­fac­tured in In­dia. Through an Indo-Rus­sia joint ven­ture, which will man­u­fac­ture Ka-226T at the hin­dus­tan Aero­nau­tics Limited’s he­li­copter plant at Tumkur, Kar­nataka, In­dia is procur­ing 200 Ka-226T for In­dian Army’ light util­ity he­li­copters re­quire­ment. MoD’s de­ci­sion is just a first step in a long process of se­lec­tion of prod­uct and In­dian SP.

PHO­TO­GRAPH: Air­bus He­li­copters

AS565 Pan­ther he­li­copter by Air­bus

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