The defence Ministry approved procurement of 111 utility helicopters for the Indian Navy at a cost of 21,738 crore rupees under strategic partnership model. The proposal was cleared at a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in New Delhi. 16 helicopters will be procured at a fly away condition while 95 will be manufactured under make in India programme.
The government will now start the process to identify a foreign helicopter maker and an Indian defence firm for a joint venture for the project. In May, the government had unveiled the strategic partnership model under which select private firms were to be roped in to build military platforms such as submarines and fighter jets in India. The procurement of the helicopters will be the first major acquisition project under the new model.