August 8, 2015

Fresh negotiations with Sikorsky for naval helicopters: Govt

Defence Ministry has started fresh cost negotiations with the US firm Sikorsky for purchase of 16 multi-role naval helicopters, Lok Sabha was told today.

In a written reply to Lok Sabha, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said the procurement proposal for the helicopters is being processed in accordance with the Defence Procurement procedure and the request for price escalation was not found acceptable by the Contract Negotiation Committee (CNC).

"The vendor has been informed accordingly," he said.

Defence sources said that fresh rounds of negotiations have started now and it has been made clear that the price cannot be escalated.

In December last, the Navy had selected Sikorsky's S-70B Seahawk, a 10-tonne twin-engine helicopter with advanced anti-ship and anti-submarine warfare capability.

The US firm was the only left in the fray after the "partial ban" on European company Finmeccanica.

The "partial ban" was imposed on Finmeccanica, the parent company of AgustaWestland that was involved in a Rs 3,550 crore VVIP helicopter deal controversy, in August last year.

While imposing the ban on it, the Defence Acquisition Council had said it would not be able to take part in any future defence deals.

Finmecccanica was part of consortium European NH 90 which had made a bid for the deal.

The Seahawk is a naval variant of the US Army's Black Hawk UH 60 helicopter.

The Navy had floated a tender for 16 helicopters with an option for another eight in 2008.

Seahawk S-70B can be used for advanced anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare to take on underwater and over water threats.


No comments:

Post a Comment