The Defence Ministry on 12 February 2019, issued Expression of Interest to shortlist potential Indian strategic partners and foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) for the procurement of 111 Naval Utility Helicopters (NUH) for the Indian Navy at an estimated cost of over Rs 21,000 crore.
These Naval Utility Helicopters will replace Chetak Helicopters and will be utilized for albeit SAR, CASEVAC (Casualty evacuation), Low-Intensity Maritime Operations (LIMO), passenger roles and torpedo drops. The procurement of the helicopters was approved by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) on 25 August 2018.
The foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) have been mandated to set up a dedicated manufacturing line, including design, integration and manufacturing processes for NUH in India. The OEMs have also been mandated to make Indian Manufacturing Line as a global exclusive facility for the NUH platform.
The Request for the Expression of Interest from Indian private companies for participating in the project was hosted on the Indian Navy website on 12 February 2019. However, the request from foreign OEMs has been forwarded to companies that participated in the Request for Information (RFI) in August 2017 for procurement of 111 utility and 123 multi-role helicopters.