|Kamov Ka-226T (Image: Wiki Commons)|
By: Vivek Raghuvanshi
NEW DELHI — The Indian Navy has begun its process of acquiring 110 light utility helicopters after rejecting Russia's Kamov Ka-226T, which are being built for the Air Force and Army, according to a Ministry of Defence official.
"The Kamov 226T does not have blade folding and cannot be fitted inside a ship's hangar. Moreover, it is not suitable to carry the torpedoes, which is the mandatory requirement," said an Indian Navy official.
The light utility helicopters, or LUH, will be procured under the strategic partnership policy India's government approved last month, under which a private-sector defence company will be selected as a strategic partner, which, in turn, will tie up with an overseas original equipment manufacturer, or OEM, shortlisted by the MoD.
In the next two months, an expression of interest will be given to domestic companies, including Bharat Forge, Reliance, Larsen & Toubro, Mahindra Aerospace and Tata Advanced Systems. The domestic companies will partner with overseas OEMs to compete for the contract worth $5 billion.
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