The Rs 21,000 crore project will be the first to kick-off under the Strategic Partnership policy under the Make in India initiative
In an unprecedented move, the ministry of defence on 12 February 2019 issued Expression of Interest (s) for shortlisting of potential Indian Strategic Partners and foreign OEMs for the procurement of 111 Naval Utility Helicopters (NUH) for the Indian Navy.
The Rs 21,000 crore project will be the first to kick-off under the Strategic Partnership policy under the Make in India initiative. These helicopters will replace Chetak helicopters and will be utilised for albeit SAR, CASEVAC, LIMO, passenger roles and torpedo drops. 95 helicopters out of 111 will be manufactured in India by the selected Indian Strategic Partner. The case was approved by Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) on 25 August 2018. The project is likely to provide major boost to the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative and give a fillip to the manufacturing capability for helicopters in India.
The Request for EoI from Indian private companies for participating in the project has been hosted on the MoD/Indian Navy website on 12 February 2019. However, the Request for EoI from foreign OEMs has been forwarded to companies that participated in the RFI deliberations. The OEMs have been mandated to set up dedicated manufacturing line, including design, integration and manufacturing processes for NUH in India and make Indian Manufacturing Line as a global exclusive facility for the NUH platform being offered.
Whilst Indian companies have been given two months to respond to the EoI, the foreign OEMs have been given three months for responding due to the nature of inputs required. M/s Tata Advanced Systems Ltd, Mahindra Defence, Adani Defence, L&T, Bharat Forge and Reliance Infrastructure are the probable Indian companies that are likely to participate in the process.
The Indian companies would be shortlisted based on their capability of system integration, facility in the aerospace domain and financial capability. The foreign OEMs like M/s Lockheed Martin, M/s Airbus Helicopters, M/s Bell Helicopters and M/s RoE are likely to participate in the project. High level of indigenisation i.e. about 60% of the helicopter is desired through the NUH project. The RFP for procurement is likely to be issued towards the end of third quarter of this year to the shortlisted Indian companies.
The companies desiring to participate in the project need to have a net worth of at least Rs 800 crore and a minimum revenue of Rs 1800 crore with a proven capability of having delivered major projects in the past. The companies need to have an experience of at least three years in defence production contracts worth a combined value of Rs 300 crore.