Report: India Issues RFI for $10B Naval Helicopter Procurement Program

India has released a request for information for a potential $10 billion program to buy multirole and multi-utility helicopters designed to help naval forces perform submarine warfare and search-and-rescue missions, Defense News reported Wednesday.

The country’s defense ministry issued the RFI to Airbus, Bell Helicopter, Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and Russian Helicopters as the country plans to acquire 123 multirole helicopters worth approximately $7 billion and 111 multi-utility choppers valued at $3 billion in an effort to replace the Indian navy’s fleet of Chetak light-utility helicopters.

The ministry will select the original equipment manufacturer and a local strategic partner later this year with a plan to issue the final request for proposals in 2018.

An overseas OEM and its domestic partner will produce the helicopters at India-based facilities as part of the South Asian country’s strategic partners policy unveiled in May, the report noted.

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