Aiming to fill up the needs of the Defence. The Ministry of Defence has issued Expression of Interest to shortlist potential Indian strategic partners and foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) for the procurement of 111 Naval Utility Helicopters (NUH) for the Indian Navy at an estimated cost of over Rs 21,000 crore.
These Naval Utility Helicopters will replace Chetak Helicopters and will be utilised for albeit SAR, CASEVAC (Casualty evacuation), Low Intensity Maritime Operations (LIMO), passenger roles and torpedo drops. The procurement of the helicopters was approved by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) on August 25, 2018.
According to official release, the project will provide impetus to ‘Make in India’ initiative and manufacturing capability for helicopters in India. Of 111, 95 helicopters will be manufactured in India itself by the selected Indian Strategic Partner through the Strategic Partnership model. Under the Strategic Partnership model, private Indian firms will be roped in to build select military platforms in partnership with foreign defence manufacturers. The Request for the Expression of Interest from Indian private companies for participating in the project was hosted on the Indian Navy website. However, the request from foreign OEMs has been forwarded to companies that participated in the Request for Information (RFI) in August 2017 for procurement of 111 utility and 123 multi-role helicopters. While Indian companies have been given two months time to respond to the EoI, the foreign OEMs have been given three months time due to the nature of inputs required. Based on the responses, the Indian Navy would issue a detailed Request for Proposal (RFP) by March 2019 to shortlisted Indian companies.