New Delhi: Over the coming days India is expected to issue tenders for the purchase of 312 light helicopters. The tender will include bids for the supply of 197 helicopters to the Indian Army's Aviation Corps and another 115 for the Indian Air Force.
The combined deal is expected to be worth over two billion dollars for suppliers. American helicopter major Bell and European firm Eurocopter, a division of EADS, Russia's Kamov and Italian Agusta Westland are expected to tender once again for the bid.
All four manufacturers had earlier tendered for a segregated, 197-helicopter, bid for the Indian Army. The bid was cancelled at the last moment after protests that the rules of procurement had been flouted by a bidder. The deal at this point of time had already reached the stage of price negotiation.
With a decision taken for a fresh tender, it was also decided to club the requirement of the Indian Air Force along with that of the Army. A tender for an enlarged supply of 312 helicopters will now be issued.