India has started the process of acquiring a total 111 Naval utility helicopters. It has issued expression of interest for finding a potential Indian strategic partner and foreign original equipment manufacturers.
These helicopters will replace Chetak Helicopters and will be utilised for albeit SAR, CASEVAC, LIMO, passenger roles and torpedo drops.
The defence acquistion council has approved the procurement in August 2018 and after that it took more than five and a half months to issue the EoI. Ninety five helicopters of total 111 will be manufactured in India by the selected Indian strategic partner.
“The project is likely to provide major boost to Govt’s ‘Make in India’ initiative and fillip to manufacturing capability for helicopters in India,” said ministry of defence in a statement.
The Request for Expression of Interest from Indian private companies for participating in the project has been hosted on the websites of ministry of defence and Indian Navy on 12 Feb 19. However, the Request for EoI from foreign OEMs has been forwarded to companies that participated in the RFI deliberations.
The government has mandated foreign original equipment manufacturers to set up dedicated manufacturing line, including design, integration and manufacturing processes for Naval Utility Helicopter in India and make Indian Manufacturing Line as a global exclusive facility for the NUH platform that is being offered to India.
While Indian companies have been given two months to respond to the EoI, the foreign OEMs have been given three months for responding due to the nature of inputs required.
Government has sought high level of indigenisation, almost 60% of indigenisation of the helicopter is required for this project. The RFP for procurement is likely to be issued towards the end of third quarter of this year to the shortlisted Indian companies.