HAL Receives Request for Proposal from Defence Ministry for 156 Light Combat Helicopters Worth ₹45,000 Crore

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HAL Receives Request for Proposal from Defence Ministry for 156 Light Combat Helicopters Worth ₹45,000 Crore

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has taken a monumental step forward in strengthening India’s defense capabilities. The Defence Ministry has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to HAL for the procurement of 156 indigenous Light Combat Helicopters (LCH), valued at ₹45,000 crore. This significant development emphasizes the nation’s commitment to advancing its military technology through homegrown solutions.

HAL Receives Request for Proposal for 156 Light Combat Helicopters: Key Details

The recent RFP from the Defence Ministry outlines the specifics of this substantial procurement, marking a pivotal milestone for both HAL and the Indian armed forces. Here’s a breakdown of the key details:

  • Recipients: The RFP includes 90 helicopters for the Indian Army and 66 for the Indian Air Force (IAF).
  • Announcement: HAL informed the stock exchanges about receiving the RFP on Monday, complying with SEBI regulations.

Next Steps in the Procurement Process

Following the receipt of the RFP, HAL will proceed through several crucial stages to finalize the deal. These steps include:

  • Price Quotation: HAL will submit a detailed price quote to the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
  • Cost Negotiations: Extensive negotiations on costs and terms will follow the submission of the price quote.
  • Approval: The final agreement will require approval from the Cabinet Committee on Security before it can be signed.

Previous Contracts and Approvals

This new RFP builds on earlier contracts and approvals aimed at enhancing India’s aerial combat capabilities. Notably:

  • Initial Contract: In March 2020, the Army and IAF contracted 15 LCH from a limited series production, valued at ₹3,887 crore for the helicopters and an additional ₹377 crore for infrastructure. The allocation included 10 helicopters for the IAF and 5 for the Army.
  • Recent Approval: Last November, the Defence Acquisition Council approved the procurement of 156 LCH.

Induction of Apache Helicopters

In parallel with the LCH procurement, the Indian Army is set to enhance its attack helicopter fleet with the induction of Apache helicopters. This move will significantly bolster the Army’s combat readiness, especially in challenging terrains.

AH-64E Apache Attack Helicopters: Starting from May, the Army plans to induct six Apache helicopters, which will be deployed in the desert sector.

Indigenous Light Combat Helicopter

The Indigenous Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), designed by HAL, is a state-of-the-art twin-engine combat helicopter. Developed specifically to meet the unique operational requirements of the Indian Armed Forces, the LCH emerged from the urgent need identified during the 1999 Kargil conflict. It is tailored for high-altitude warfare and can operate effectively in challenging terrains like the Siachen Glacier.

Design and Development

The LCH’s development highlights its capability to perform high-altitude operations:

  • Conceptualization: The LCH, a 5-8 tonne class dedicated combat helicopter, was conceptualized post the Kargil conflict to meet the need for high-altitude operations.
  • Unique Capability: It is the only attack helicopter capable of landing and taking off at altitudes of 5,000 meters (16,400 feet) with a significant weapon and fuel load.

Specifications and Features

The LCH is equipped with advanced technology and armament, making it a formidable asset for the Indian Armed Forces:

  • Combat Radius: 500 km.
  • Service Ceiling: 21,000 feet, making it ideal for operations in high-altitude areas like the Siachen glacier.
  • Armament: The LCH is armed with a 20mm nose gun, 70 mm rockets, anti-tank guided missile ‘Dhruvastra’, and air-to-air missile ‘Mistral-2’ with a maximum interception range of 6.5 km.

FAQs

Q1. What is the significance of HAL receiving the RFP from the Defence Ministry?

Ans. HAL receiving the RFP underscores a major step towards bolstering India’s defense capabilities through indigenous technology. It signals the government’s commitment to enhancing the armed forces’ operational readiness.

Q2. How many helicopters are included in the RFP and for which branches of the military?

Ans. The RFP is for the procurement of 156 Light Combat Helicopters, with 90 allocated to the Indian Army and 66 to the Indian Air Force (IAF).

Q3. What is the estimated value of the RFP for 156 Light Combat Helicopters?

Ans. The total estimated worth of the RFP is ₹45,000 crore.

Q4. What are the next steps after HAL receives the RFP?

Ans. HAL will prepare and submit a detailed price quote to the Ministry of Defence (MoD). Subsequently, negotiations on costs and terms will follow, leading up to the final approval by the Cabinet Committee on Security.

Q5. How does this RFP contribute to indigenous defence manufacturing?

Ans. The RFP encourages indigenous production capabilities through HAL, promoting self-reliance in defense manufacturing and reducing dependence on imports.

This latest RFP is a testament to India’s growing emphasis on self-reliance in defense technology, heralding a new era of advanced and indigenous military capabilities.

 

 

 

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