Indian Navy in the Market For New ASW Helicopters
By the end of June, the Indian Navy was expected to issue a request for tender (RfT) for up to 20 new helicopters to replace its aging fleet of AugustaWestland Sea King helicopters.
The Indian Navy has expressed interest in the Eurocopter AS 565 Cougar, Augusta Westland EH-101 and the NH Industries NH-90. All three companies will be primary candidates for the antisubmarine warfare (ASW) oriented helicopters. The total contract price is not to exceed $600 million.
The tender is for an ASW helicopter with the following requirements:
* Physical weight not more than 10-12 metric tons;
* ASW and search-and-rescue capabilities;
* A winch;
* Endurance of up to four hours; and
* Ability to host state-of-the-art electronic warfare systems.
The Indian Navy also will solicit separate bids to upgrade 12 of the existing Sea King helicopters that are currently in service and will remain so over the long term. The Sea King upgrades are expected to start by the end of the year and will include upgrades to the avionics, mission computer and radar system, and include new onboard missiles. Additional work will include upgrades to the navigation system, radars, lightweight torpedoes and air-to-surface missiles.
The Indian Navy probably will make a decision on the preferred supplier for the new helicopters by mid-2005. The new helicopters will work in conjunction with the upgraded Sea Kings from the Navy’s major surface combatant force.
AMI International Inc., Bremerton, Wash., is an international consulting and naval intelligence services company located on the Web at www.amiinter.com
Copyright Navy League of the United States Jul 2004
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