Indian Coast Guard needs helicopters pronto
On 28 November, India’s Defence Acquisition Council, chaired by Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh, reapproved the procurement of 14 shore-based twin-engine heavy helicopters for the Indian Coast Guard (ICG). The tender had been withdrawn last year following nine extensions and a graft case.
The ICG, which termed the requirement as ‘immediate’, will use the 10t helicopters to prevent maritime terrorism, infiltration of terrorists by sea routes, and to conduct SAR operations.
An RfP for an open global tender will be released within 12 months, as stipulated in the Defence Procurement Policy.
The ICG is responsible for safety and security within India’s EEZ along the nation’s 7,500km coastline.
A senior ICG official told Shephard the ageing Chetak (Alouette III) helicopter, now manufactured under license by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), did not have the required range. It is presently being used by the ICG for SAR, casualty evacuation and aircrew training.
The official added that new threats result in fishing boats having to be identified and intercepted beyond 150nm from the coast. The problem became real after the Mumbai terrorist attack in 2008, where the perpetrators had entered Indian territory on a fishing boat.
While OEMs are mandated to sign integrity pacts with each new tender, Leonardo continues to be barred from selling to India. HAL as yet does not have a heavy helicopter in its range.
Interestingly, a senior official told Shephard that if Sikorsky emerged as lowest bidder, it was likely the sale would be done under the US Foreign Military Sales programme.
Russian Helicopters (part of Rostec State Corporation) has announced that its Mi-171A2 has now been certified in India and Colombia, and the company will shortly ...
United Rotorcraft, a division of Air Methods selected Becker Avionics’ ADS-B transponder, the BXT6500 and digital audio ICS, the DVCS6100 for a Sikorsky S-70i™ Firehawk ...
Babcock Offshore has confirmed a new three-year contract to provide the expanding UK-based oil and gas company Serica Energy with offshore helicopter crew transport services. ...
Day 3 Highlights from Vertical Flight Expo & Conference 2019. Video by Reed Exhibitions.
SEI Industries has demonstrated its new Bambi Bucket at Vertical Flight Expo this week. It’s a brand that has become synonymous with helicopter aerial firefighting. ...
Robert Garbett, chief executive for Drone Major, gave an in-depth discussion on the different threat levels that drones now present to aircraft operators and industry ...