'197 Copter Bid In Process': MoD

Indian Defence Minister AK Antony has just informed Parliament about the 197 reconnaissance and surveillance (RSH) helicopter acquisition programme, that's already delayed:

"The Ministry has not deferred its decision of purchasing of 197 Light Utility Helicopters (LUHs) and the procurement case is under examination. The Defence Procurement Procedure lays down stringent guidelines to effect utmost probity and transparency in procurement transactions. It is not a fact that these helicopters were to be purchased from Government of Italy. In the context of an allegation against one service officer, as appearing in the media, information has been sought from the Government of Italy."

Incidentally, the two companies are likely to be instructed to extend the validity of their commercial bids for the fourth time as they expire by the end of this month. It is possible that the deal will come up at a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) later this month.

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