Saturday, May 28, 2011

RFP for drylease helicopters soon to close

 - Neelam Mathews
Asian Defence and Diplomacy (Singapore)
Date Posted: 26 May 2011

The last date for India’s first ever Request for Proposal for eight dry-lease (wheel-type) helicopters has another fortnight left to close. The RFP released in Dec. last year by the Indian Coast Guard is expected to set a trend in outsourcing by introducing the concept of wet-leasing of aircraft in the military and will reduce complexity of an already varied fleet, say analysts.

In India, the Coast Guard is a military unit resembling a naval coastal defence force. It has responsibility for search and rescue, enforcement of maritime law- smuggling, immigration and shipping regulations- and protecting the country's maritime and offshore resources.

The contract for the dry-lease is for five years. The contract model is based on an Australian model with Cobham Aviation Services, prime contractor for the Australian Coastwatch aerial surveillance program. Cobham specialises in high commitment “tactical” flight operations and support, under performance-based contracts.

Contenders are expected to be Deccan Charters, Sikorsky, Indocopters and government-owned Pawan Hans. “We believe that if the Coast Guard has a good experience in this (first) project, they will be amenable to longer timeline contracts,” says an OEM.

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