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India invites bids for chopper deal worth $2 billion

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IAF Attack helicopter. A File photo.

NEW DEHI (BNS): India has invited bids worth more than $2 billion for two defence projects to arm its air force, according to a defence official and the country head of Boeing Co.

The Indian Air Force is seeking 22 attack helicopters and at least 15 heavy-lift helicopters as it plans to replace its aging Soviet-era fleet with modern weapon systems.

"Boeing has received the Request for Proposals (RFPs) for the attack and heavy-lift helicopters and will review the requirements," Vivek Lall, India country head of Boeing's Integrated Defense Systems (IDS), told Reuters on Monday.

Indian government has planned to spend $30 billion over next five years for the modernization of its armed force.

"We hope to hear from bidders soon on the two projects and speed up the procurement process," a defence ministry spokesman said.

India turn down tenders for 22 attack and 15 heavy lift choppers of seven international companies this march clamming the bidders doesn’t meet the requirements.

Boeing said it was keen to offer its Apache AH-64 helicopters and also reviewing the other RFP to supply at least 15 heavy-lift helicopters to the air force.

We believe that Boeing's Apache and Chinook can provide the Indian Air Force with the most capable, proven and versatile platforms in their respective class," Lall said in New Delhi on Monday.

India is all set for the world's biggest arms deal contract of worth $10.4 billion. Field trials for the purchase of 126 fighter planes will hold soon.

Boeing's F/A-18 Super Hornet, France's Dassault Rafale, Lockheed Martin Corp's F-16, Russia's MiG-35, Sweden's Saab JAS-39 Gripen and the Eurofighter Typhoon, produced by a consortium of British, German, Italian and Spanish companies, are in the race for the lucrative fighter contract.

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