The Indian Navy has initiated the process to take 24 twin-engine naval utility helicopters on a lease by issuing a request for information (RFI) to foreign vendors, reports Times of India.
Once received, the Indian Navy intends to keep the leased helicopters along with ground support equipment for five years. The lease also includes all the maintenance support ashore, including performance-based logistics and training of the air and maintenance crew during the term of the lease.
The Navy has said that the leased helicopters will have to be in the weight category of five tonnes or below, and they should be capable of performing a range of activities ashore and while operating from its ships in the day and night. Such activities include search and rescue from ships at the sea, medical evacuation, communication duties to and from ships, and also low-intensity maritime operations.
The Navy has also added that the helicopters should be piloted by two pilots and that it should also have capabilities like wheeled landing gear and folding blades.
The Navy further said that the lessor will have to indicate the possibility of delivering all 24 helicopters within two years from the date of signing of the contract and that the training schedule is to be in line with the delivery schedule. The last date for replying to the RFI has been set at 18 June.
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