An Aerospatiale/Hindustan Aeronautics Chetak performs exercises with a Coast Guard vessel. Photo posted by the Indian Navy via Twitter on March 18. (@SpokespersonMoD)
The Indian Navy has moved another step closer to procuring billions of dollars worth of armed helicopters, multiple news outlets have reported. The Defense Acquisition Council reportedly approved funding for the purchase of 111 utility rotorcraft.
In August, reports said India’s defense ministry wanted manufacturers to submit proposals to supply the country’s navy with 123 multi-role/anti-submarine warfare helicopters and 111 light, armed utility rotorcraft. The acquisition council has now reportedly approved more than $3 billion in funding.
According to The Economic Times, as part of the proposal, 16 naval utility helicopters would be procured in a “fly away” sate from the selected foreign original equipment manufacturer. The remaining aircraft would be built by a domestic firm.
India’s 140-ship fleet is supported by fewer than 30 Kamov Ka-28s and H-3 Sea Kings, according to the media reports, which added many of the rotorcraft are not in flying condition.