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Coast Guard tender for eight choppers to be scrapped

Defence Ministry is planning to scrap a proposal to procure eight medium-lift helicopters for the Coast Guard amid allegations of manipulation by one of the two vendors in the race for the tender.



New Delhi: The Defence Ministry is planning to scrap a proposal to procure eight medium-lift helicopters for the Coast Guard amid allegations of manipulation by one of the two vendors in the race for the tender.
The tender for dry-leasing eight choppers for the Coast Guard is in the process of being scrapped as the provisions for procurement were complex and there were also issues over the serviceability of the choppers on offer, Defence Ministry sources told PTI here.

The validity of the commercial bids submitted by the two companies also expired three months ago as the Government did not want to go ahead with the procurement procedure, the sources said.

This would be the second time when the tender would be scrapped as an earlier tender for dry-leasing such choppers was also cancelled.

One of the two vendors including the American Sikorsky and Indian OSS had levelled allegations of manipulation by the rival company in the bidding process, they said.

Dry-leasing of choppers was being done to fill the gap in force`s capabilities till the time it could procure assets of its own.

The sources said the Defence Ministry was also not in favour of getting into such a complex arrangement of dry-leasing choppers where the onus of maintaining serviceability of choppers would have been on the vendors.

Moreover, the Coast Guard has also initiated the process of procuring 30 medium weight and light utility choppers along with the induction of 12 new Dornier maritime surveillance aircraft giving boost to its capabilities to guard the maritime boundaries.

Post 26/11 attacks on Mumbai, Government has cleared proposals worth over Rs 5,000 crore to strengthen the capabilities of the maritime agency.

The size of the Coast Guard would also be doubled in terms of both the size of assets and manpower in the next five to ten years under the modernisation plans of the force.

PTI

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