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Tata, Bell Partner For Indian Defense Contract

Prize Is A $2 Billion Deal For 100 Utility Helicopters

Tata Industries and Bell Helicopter have partnered to bid on a potential $2 billion contract to build 100 utility helicopters for the Indian Ministry of Defense.

The aircraft will be operated from Indian navy warships, and the contract will be awarded as part of the "Make in India" project.

Sources with direct knowledge of the proposed partnership told the Economic Times of India that the contract will be bid under existing foreign direct investment norms. Under that scenario, Indian companies lead the procurement bids, and the foreign company is listed as a technology partner.

The Tata/Bell partnership will offer the Bell 429 for the contract, while a consortium consisting of Mahindra and Airbus Helicopters will propose the AS565. The selection will be made on technical and commercial grounds.

The initial contract will be for 100 aircraft, but that number could grow based on the needs of the Indian navy.

(Image from file)

FMI: www.bellhelicopter.com

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