Navy plans to issue bid for over 120 multirole choppers

Multirole choppers

In could be the world's biggest tender for helicopters, the Indian Navy is planning to issue a bid for procuring more than 120 multirole choppers expected to be worth around Rs 35,000 crore.

The navy had recently issued a global request for information in this regard and has plans of acquiring more than 120 Naval Multirole Helicopters (NMRH), navy sources said here.

The navy had recently asked global helicopter vendors to provide details about their choppers in this category and is planning to issue a global request for proposal in this regard in near future, they said.

The navy is planning to procure these new NMRH for carrying out anti-submarine warfare, special forces' operations and anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare.

The companies expected to take part in the tender include all major chopper manufacturers like European Eurocopter and Agusta Westland and American Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin.

"We are planning to offer our EC725 helicopter once the Indian Navy issues a tender for these NMRH," Eurocopter's Vice President for South Asia region Rainner Farid said here.

The Indian Navy is already holding a competition for procuring 16 multirole helicopters in which European NH-90 and American Sikorsky S-70 Bravo are in the race.

The navy at present relies on its fleet of Sea King helicopters which were inducted in two different phases in the 80s.

The navy would require these multirole choppers in view of its expanding fleet size and expansion in its area of responsibility with the government stating that country's strategic interest ranges from the Gulf of Aden to the Malacca Straits.

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