India plans to buy 312 light helicopters

April 9th, 2008 - 5:18 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Apr 9 (ANI): The Defence Ministry is planning to invite international bids for the purchase of 312 light helicopters.
India is acquiring these helicopters to provide its forces logistics support on the icy heights of the Siachen Glacier and to increase its capability of rapid deployment.
Out of these 312 helicopters, which are estimated to be worth over two billion dollars, 197 are meant for the Army Aviation Corp, and the remaining 115 are for the Air Force.
Tenders for these helicopters are expected to be floated in the next few days.
The main bidders for these tenders are expected to be American helicopter major Bell, European arms major European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), Russia’s Kamov and Italian Augusta Westland. Defence Secretary Vijay Singh said: “These choppers are being inducted to enhance the operational capability of the armed forces in the high Himalayan frontiers.
According to official sources, the new helicopters are being inducted to replace Indian Air Force (IAF)’s and Armys ageing fleet of French-acquired Chetak and Cheetah helicopters which have been operating now for over three decades. (ANI)

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