Defence ministry clears decks for buying 111 choppers for the navy at Rs 217 billion - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

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Monday 30 July 2018

Defence ministry clears decks for buying 111 choppers for the navy at Rs 217 billion

Also Rs 8 billion project cleared for eight fast patrol vessels for Coast Guard

By Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 31st July 18

On Monday, the defence ministry announced it has approved “implementation guidelines for the strategic partnership model.”

The “strategic partner” (SP) model of defence procurement, which was promulgated in outline in May 2017, provides a policy framework for Indian firms to manufacture specified defence platforms in India based on technology transferred by a selected foreign vendor.

The SP Policy initially aims at building four categories of weaponry – fighters, helicopters, submarines and armoured vehicles. 

But while the policy framework had been drawn up, and retrospectively included as a chapter in the Defence Procurement Procedure of 2016 (DPP-2016), there was a need for separate selection criteria for each of the four equipment categories. 

“In an endeavour to convert policy into implementable directions and to kick start the process, the DAC (Defence Acquisition Council) also approved platform specific guidelines for procurement of Naval Utility Helicopters,” said a defence ministry release on Monday.

That clears the decks for initiating the Rs 217.38 billion (Rs 21,738 crore) procurement of 111 utility helicopters for the navy.

“The amplifying guidelines lay emphasis on incentivisation of transfer of niche technology and higher indigenous content. Global majors, who in collaboration with Indian Partners are ready to make India a regional/global manufacturing hub for the platform will also be incentivized”, said the defence ministry release.

“All procurements under the SP Model would be executed by specially constituted Empowered Project Committees (EPC) to provide focused attention and ensure timely execution,” stated the ministry.

In the SP pipeline are 110 medium fighters for the air force, 123 naval multi-role helicopters, 111 naval utility helicopters and six conventional submarines under Project 75-I.

The DAC also accorded approval on Monday for buying eight Fast Patrol Vessels for the Coast Guard under the “Buy lndian – lndian Designed Developed and Manufactured” category for approximately Rs 800 crore. 

“These vessels will be indigenously designed and manufactured and would strengthen maritime security by undertaking day/night patrolling and policing of [India’s maritime zones]”, said the defence ministry.


  1. Thats nearly $4 billion!
    We will be able to refurbish 24,000 existing schools in India to a very high standard, with nutritious meals to cure stunted growth with that money. See what AAP is doing in Delhi.
    The real threat is our growing young population, so poorly educated that they are unemployable.
    Two-thirds of India’s 1.2 billion people are below 35 Yrs and 300 million people will join India's workforce by 2040, 
    From these come the youth who are fodder for the fascist forces, expect more lynching.
    Expect more Attacks on our democracy, expect obscurantism, superstition and widespread bigotry.
    Our productivity due to poor health and lack of education is so poor that we are unable to provide labour, even for manufacturing low-cost clothes and shoes, we cannot compete with Bangladesh or Vietnam.
    Education and Health is the best investment a nation can make towards its own security.
    A modern war fought with a largely uneducated population will not be able to sustain itself for long. Technological weapons like these US helicopters are just one of the hundreds of products which require an educated and skilled population to create.
    A war with our only real adversary in the neighbourhood, China, will not last long.

  2. Having gone through the competitors for the Naval Utility helicopter program , in find perfectly suited to the role, the front runners being the panther and the s76. The panther weighs the same empty as the Dhruv , but thanks to the dhruv's far more powerful shakti engines it can carry almost a ton a more of payload , also I've read reports that HAL has come up with a solution for the folding rotor problem.
    I really believe it deserves a fair chance


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