India Inc readies to fly with global OEMs for Navy’s $10-b chopper deal

L&T, Bharat Forge, Mahindra Aerospace, Tata Advanced Systems and Reliance Defence and Engineering are among the private companies readying to compete for the strategic partner role to build Naval helicopters.

The Defence Ministry last week put out a global request for information (RFI) for the purchase of 234 naval helicopters, inviting foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). The deadline for response is October 6, 2017.

The procurement is for 111 naval multi-utility helicopters (NMUH) and 123 naval multi-role helicopters (NMRH).

Airbus Helicopters of France, and Bell Helicopter and Lockheed Martin of the US (which acquired Sikorsky) and Russian Helicopters are among the OEMs that have got the RFI, says the request for proposal (RFP) is likely to be issued by mid-2018.

According to an official with an Indian private defence company, “Chapter VII of Defence Procurement Procedure 2016 has got off to a flying start… The indigenous portion of the helicopter procurement will be manufactured in India based on design to be provided by the foreign OEM to the selected Strategic Partner.”

6,500-crore earlier deal ::

The global RFI comes on the heels of abandoning an earlier ₹6,500-crore deal to purchase 16 multi-role helicopters for the Navy from the US. According to government sources, this deal, initiated in 2009, “hit choppy water with the Finmeccannica scam allegations, leaving Sikorsky as the sole bidder at the end of 2014. However, the high price was a major deterrent. The push to integrate indigenous content in these helicopters has led to the new RFI.”

Government sources also pointed to a slight amendment to DPP 2016, initiated five days ago. With the approval of the Defence Acquisition Council, “Article 16 in Chapter VI has been inserted, dealing with indigenous content. In this, the seller has to commit to ensure minimum percentage indigenous content of the total contract value in case of Buy (Indian-IDDM) and Buy (Indian) case,” sources said.

Eye on future ::

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The RFI details that the Transfer of Technology should be comprehensive, so that the Indian production agency can manufacture, assemble, test, commission, repair and maintain the helicopters. Also, the transferred capabilities should be capable of being used in ongoing and future indigenous programmes.





Source:-The Hindu Business Line

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