In a first of its kind, Ministry of Defence has issued an Expression of Interest for shortlisting potential Indian and foreign manufacturers for the Procurement of 111 Naval Utility Helicopters (NUH)' for the Indian Navy.
This is the first project to be undertaken by the Ministry of Defence under the strategic partnership policy to develop capabilities of Indian companies in defence manufacturing.
These helicopters will replace Chetak Helicopters and will be utilised for search and rescue, passenger roles and torpedo drops, a Navy spokesperson said.
95 helicopters out of 111 will be manufactured in India by the selected Indian Strategic Partner while the remaining would be acquired directly from the foreign manufacturer.
The case was approved by Defence Acquisition Council on August 25, 2018. The project is likely to provide major boost to governments Make in India initiative and fillip to manufacturing capability for helicopters in India," a Navy spokesperson said.
As per the requirements, the original equipment manufacturers have been mandated to set up dedicated manufacturing line, including design, integration and manufacturing processes for Naval Utility Helicopters in India and make Indian Manufacturing Line as a global exclusive facility for the NUH platform being offered.
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.
Tata Advanced Systems Ltd, Mahindra Defence, Adani Defence, L&T, Bharat Forge and Reliance Infrastructure are the probable Indian companies that are likely to participate in the process. The Indian companies would be shortlisted based on their capability of system of system integration, facility in the aerospace domain and financial capability, the Navy said.
The foreign OEMs likely to participate in the project are Lockheed Martin, Airbus Helicopters, Bell Helicopters and Rosoboronexport. High level of indigenisation that is about 60 per cent of the helicopter is desired through the NUH project, the spokesperson said.
The RFP for procurement is likely to be issued towards the end of third quarter of this year to the shortlisted Indian companies. (ANI)