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Sikorsky, Tata to make helicopters


HYDERABAD (PTI): US-based helicopter maker Sikorsky Aircraft Company Monday said its partnership with Tata Advanced Systems will be extended to manufacture and assemble helicopters.

After obtaining the licence from the Indian government, the company will participate in the next round of defence procurement programme, Steve Estill, Vice-President (Strategic Partnerships), Sikorsky, told reporters here.

The company operates in India through its joint venture with Tata Advanced Systems Ltd India -- Tata Sikorsky Aerostructures Ltd.

"The partnership with Tatas will be extended to manufacturing and assembling Sikorsky helicopters, besides making Sikorsky S-92 helicopter cabins. We have applied to the Government of India and we are expecting the licence shortly," he said.

Once the company gets the licence, it will manufacture multi-role choppers for the Indian Navy, he added.

Replying to a query on Indian Navy order, Arvind Walia, executive vice president, (India and South Asia), said two companies (Sikorsky and NH 90) were shortlisted by the Ministry of Defence to supply 16 multi-role choppers to the Indian navy.

"It is currently at the request for proposal stage. We expect to be the lowest bidder for this contract that is pegged at about $1 billion," Walia said.

Walia said that although India had just one order for the S-92, the Indian facility at Hyderabad was playing a significant role in Sikorsky's global supply chain.

According to a senior official of Tata Sikorsky Aerostructures Ltd, the production at Hyderabad facility gradually would go up to 26 cabins from the present 13 for S-92 helicopters a year from the Indian facility and the cabins would be supplied globally.

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