Naval requirement for 111 utility helicopters
On 30 October, the government accepted the necessity (AON) for procurement of 111 naval utility helicopters (NUH) worth Rs 21,738 crore for the Indian Navy, making this the first proposal under the strategic partnership model to get approval. Initially, 16 NUHs will be procured in a ‘fly away’ state from the selected foreign original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and the remaining 95 will be made by the strategic partner in India. The RFI states that the helicopters should perform multi-roles including search and rescue, medical evacuation, anti-piracy, disaster relief and surveillance. The RFI also seeks information on the kind of torpedoes compatible with NUH. Firms including Bell, Sikorsky and Airbus, are likely contenders for this project.