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Latest Indian Defence News
MMRCA Deal By March 2013; Attack Choppers Under Negotiation; Heavy lift Helos, Refuellers Bids Opening Soon
India will finalise its originally-estimated $10.5-billion contract for 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) with the selected Dassault Aviation for its Rafale fighter jets within this fiscal that ends in March 2013. It is also readying to open the commercial bids in the tenders for 15 heavy lift helicopters and six mid-air refuellers, apart getting all set to sign a $1.4-billion deal for 22 Apache attack helicopters from the American aerospace major Boeing's stable. These apart negotiations are also on to buy four more Aerostat radars from Israel at a likely cost of over $400 million.
India, Maldives Step up Defence Ties
India and Maldives have agreed to step up their Defence ties with a slew of measures, including basing Indian Dhruv helicopter in Male for two more years, training to Maldivian air force personnel and deploying Indian warships to secure Maldivian waters and exclusive economic zone. The two sides also agreed to work closely towards stability and ensure maritime security in the Indian Ocean region. At a high level meeting between Indian Defence Minister AK Antony and his Maldivian counterpart Colonel (Retd) Mohamed Nazim in Male, the two sides decided to "maintain close cooperation" in unitedly fighting against challenges of terrorists and non-state actors. Antony is on a three-day official visit to Maldives.
India's Tender for 16 MRH Hanging in Balance
A supposedly $1 billion tender to buy 16 Multi-Role Helicopters for the Indian Navy is hanging in balance after the Defence Ministry decided to ask the two competing global firms to extend their commercial bids till December 31, 2012. According to Defence Ministry sources the two companies -- American Sikorsky and European consortium NH Industries -- were asked to extend their bids in July this year, after over one-and-half years of bidding process in which their products -- S70B and NH90 -- were evaluated in field trials by November 2011. However, soon after the commercials bids of the two companies were extended, NHI has reiterated its complaint to the Defence ministry that Sikorsky's platform has not met the naval staff qualitative requirements mentioned in the tender documents.
IAF to Upgrade Strength along Pakistan Border
Indian Air Force will deploy medium power radars and advanced helicopters in the western sector in order to strengthen its preparedness along the Indo-Pak border in Rajasthan. While Jodhpur airbase will soon have a squadron of transport helicopters Mi-17 V5, medium power radars would also be deployed at Jaisalmer airbase, Air Marshal Anjan Kumar Gogoi, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, South-Western Air command, said at a press conference here. Gogoi said that the new squadron at Phalodi will be ready by October this year. Admitting that the SW air command has shortage of transport aircraft, he said that it will also be looked into. The Air Marshal also informed that Deesa airbase in north Gujarat will soon become a training-cum-operational base.
Indian Navy’s $1 Billion Multirole Helicopter Deal Delayed by Six Months Again
For a second time in an year, Indian Navy’s tender for multirole helicopters has been delayed with the Defence Ministry directing the vendors to extend the validity of their proposals for six more months. The Defence Ministry, without elaborating on the details of this decision, has asked the American Sikorsky and European NH Industries to extend the validity of their proposals for the tender worth over $1 billion for buying 16 choppers. The 16 choppers in the $ 1 billion tender of the Indian Navy are meant to carry out anti-submarine warfare and surveillance roles besides augmenting its fleet of Sea King helicopters. American Sikorsky had fielded its S-70 Blackhawk helicopter and NH Industries of Europe had offered its NH-90 helicopters for the tender.
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