The Indian Navy on Friday started 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 air crew 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, in accordance with the norms of defence acquisition procedure, the Navy said.
It said the helicopters will have to be in the weight category of five tonnes and below and should be able to perform a range of activities while operating from the ships of the Indian Navy and ashore in day and night.
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 the helicopters should be twin-engine and piloted by two pilots with wheeled landing gear and blade fold capability.
It said the lessor will also have to indicate the possibility of delivering all 24 helicopters within two years from the date of signing of the contact and that the training schedule is to be in line with the delivery schedule.
The last date for replying to the RFI is June 18.
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