HAL cancels tender for co-developing medium-lift choppers

HAL had released the tender for selecting a partner for co-developing the chopper for both civilian and military markets and French Company Eurocopter and Russian Mil were shortlisted for the contract.

However, the tender was cancelled as the armed forces' specifications for their requirements in the chopper were changed during the tender process, Defence Ministry sources said.

The medium-lift helicopter development plan is being undertaken by HAL to replace the older versions of the Russian Mi-17s flying with the Indian Air Force and the Army.

Under the co-development programme, sources said, HAL and the chosen partner were supposed to produce around 350 of these helicopters over a period of 10-15 years and gradually replace the Mi-8 and Mi-17s.

"HAL will now release the tender again after adding in the additional specifications given by the armed forces and the process is expected to begin in next two months but the schedule has not yet been finalised," they said.

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