Force Magazine

 Delayed Delivery
 As modernisation of the armed forces continues, some critical programmes are
 indefinitely stuck

WASS’ Black Shark torpedo
WASS’ Black Shark torpedo

After a sustained period of modernisation efforts for the Indian armed forces, of late a number of events have put the brakes on the hard-won momentum for modern assets for the armed forces. Unfortunately for the armed forces, piecemeal procurement of defence equipment affects operational preparedness as well. We look at some of the projects that are delayed.

RSH for the Army & IAF
The procurement process for the urgent requirement to replace the obsolete Cheetah helicopter with a modern single engine helicopter has now gone on for more than a decade with still no result in sight. The armed forces began their search for a suitable replacement for the Cheetah, well in advance more than a decade ago. The first tender was issued in 2003 and the latest tender released in July 2008.

The allegations related to the AgustaWestland helicopter contract have unfortunately put a spanner in the works for the RSH contract. With the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) also having decided to defer its decision, the future of the contract remains unclear. For Eurocopter (AS550 C3 Fennec) and Russian Helicopters (Kamov Ka-226T) which are competing for this deal, this means even more expense and uncertainty as to who will win the contract worth approximately Rs 3,000 crore for 197 (133 Army, 64 IAF) helicopters. The Russians, having lost two major Indian Air Force (IAF) competitions for attack helicopters and heavy lift helicopters, would be keen to bag this contract.

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