The Indian Navy on Friday began the process of taking 24 naval utility helicopters on lease by issuing a request for information (RFI) to foreign vendors. According to the RFI, the Navy plans to keep the helicopters with ground-support equipment for five years.
“This lease will also include all maintenance support ashore, including performance-based logistics (PBL) and training of aircrew and maintenance crew during the term of the lease,” the Navy said in the RFI.
The original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) or authorised leasing firms or government-sponsored export agencies are eligible for participation in the bidding process, by the norms of defence acquisition procedure. The choppers will have to be in the weight category of five tons and below and should be able to perform various activities while operating from the ships of the Indian Navy and ashore day and night, the Navy said.
The activities mentioned include search and rescue from ships at sea, medical evacuation, communication duties to, and from ships and low-intensity maritime operations.
The RFI said that the lessor will also have to assure the possibility of delivering all 24 helicopters within two years from the date of signing of the contract and that the training schedule is to be in line with the delivery schedule.