Wednesday, May 13, 2020

HAL may enter as government revisits Navy chopper plan

New Delhi: The defence ministry is re-evaluating its big ‘Make in India’ plan to manufacture naval utility helicopters. The companies have been asked to explain if the programme has export potential and the Centre is also looking at giving Hindustan Aeronautics LimitedNSE -1.05 % (HAL) a chance to enter the competition.
The Rs 21,000-crore plan to manufacture naval utility helicopters in partnership with a foreign vendor has been in the works for over a year and important decisions on going to the next step of technical evaluation have to be taken shortly.
Sources said queries have been sent to Indian and foreign companies bidding for the project to understand if there are plans to continue the line beyond the 111helicopters envisaged to meet exports in both civil and military markets.
The ministry is also assessing if a lesser number of choppers were to be ordered, what the impact would be on technology transfer and cost viability.
There is an apprehension that the project could be cut down in numbers as the ministry is revising all procurement plans due to an anticipated budget cut.
Sources also said the HAL, which has been making a strong pitch for its Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), could get a chance to enter the competition if it is able to develop compliant prototypes, within a specified period of time.
12/05/20 Manu Pubby/Economic Times
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