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India approves $6.6 billion procurement of helicopters, artillery and missile systems

India’s Defence Acquisition Council on Saturday, August 25 approved the procurement of helicopters, artillery and missile systems for a total of 46,000 crore rupees (460 billion rupees, $6.6 billion), the Ministry of Defence said in a release.

111 utility helicopters

The DAC approved two separate helicopter procurements for the Indian Navy.

The first allocated 21,000 crore rupees ($3 billion) for procurement of 111 utility helicopters. This is the first under the MoD’s Strategic Partnership model, part of the wider ‘Make in India’ programme.

This model aims for collaboration between a foreign original equipment manufacturer and an Indian strategic partner to “acquire niche technologies” and build production facilities in India, promoting the country as a manufacturing hub and enhancing self-sufficiency.

“The contract when finalized, would result in a vibrant and wide-spread Defence industrial eco-system in the Indian Aviation Sector with the Private Industry and MSMEs as major stakeholders,” the MoD release said.

The Times of India reported that the four manufacturers in contention are Airbus, Bell (Textron), Sikorsky (Lockheed Martin) and Russian Helicopters.

However, Boeing has already built helicopter manufacturing partnerships in India.

On August 27, Boeing and Dynamatic Technologies announced the delivery of the 75th aft pylon and cargo ramp components for the CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopter.

Tata Boeing Aerospace delivered the first AH-64 Apache combat helicopter fuselage, made in its facility in Hyderabad, on June 2. This facility will be the sole Apache helicopter fuselage producer for Boeing’s global customers including the U.S. Army, and will also produce secondary structures and vertical spar boxes for the AH-64.

24 multi-role helicopters

A separate procurement of 24 naval multi-role helicopters capable of anti-submarine warfare was also approved. The release did not specify a value for the procurement, but said the helicopters would “plug the existing capability gap” and are “an integral part of the frontline warships like the aircraft carriers, destroyers, frigates and corvettes.”

According to the Times of India, the procurement is valued at 13,500 crore rupees ($1.9 billion) and will see the purchase of Sikorsky MH-60 Seahawk helicopters from the United States in a government-to-government deal.

More: India approves plan for $700 million acquisition of 6 next-generation offshore patrol vessels

150 155mm artillery pieces

The DAC also approved “a few other proposals amounting to approximately Rs. 24,879.16 crore rupees ($3.5 billion),” the release said.

These include the procurement of 150 “Indigenously Designed and Developed 155 mm Advanced Towed Artillery Gun Systems for the Indian Army at an approximate cost of Rs 3,364.78 crores [$479 million].”

The guns, which the MoD said would be India’s artillery mainstay in the near future, were designed and developed by India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation, which will nominate production agencies for their manufacture.

Business Standard reported that Kalyani Group and Tata will build the guns.

14 missile systems

The DAC also approved the procurement of 14 Vertically Launched Short Range Missile Systems, with 10 of the systems to be indigenously developed.

“These systems will boost the self-defense capability of ships against Anti-Ship Missiles,” the MoD release said.

India eyes the Raytheon/Kongsberg National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System

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