A tender for procuring 56 naval helicopters from abroad at an estimated cost of Rs 9,000 crore was on Tuesday scrapped by the Defence Ministry which decided to get them manufactured in India by local players with foreign collaboration.
This is the third helicopter tender in the recent months to have been scrapped by the government since the cancellation of Rs 3600 crore VVIP chopper deal with Anglo-Italian firm AgustaWestland in the wake of bribery allegations on January one this year.
The tender for procuring 56 Naval Utility Helicopters has been scrapped and a fresh acquisition process would be initiated where these choppers would be made in the country involving Indian manufacturers who will be allowed to partner with the foreign vendors, Defence Ministry sources told PTI here.
Two contenders were in the race for this Rs 9,000 crore tender including the European Airbus Helicopters and AgustaWestland and they have been intimated about the decision, the sources said.
The Navy had plans of using these choppers for replacing its aging fleet of Cheetah and Chetak helicopters, which have been in service for over 30-35 years.
The tender was issued two years ago by the Navy for procuring twin-engine choppers and was sent to major chopper makers including US firm Sikorsky, Eurocopter, Kamov and Italy’s Agusta Westland.
In the tender, the Navy has specified that the 4.5 tonne helicopters should have twin-engines to allow them to operate in rough sea conditions.
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