India Issues RFI For Naval Multi-Role Helicopters For ASW Purpose

India has issued a request for information for a naval multi-role
helicopter (NMRH) to complement its existing fleet of Westland Sea King
42 anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters.

The RFI calls for helicopters with a maximum all-up weight of between 9t
and 12.5t. The NMRH, which will be expected to serve for 30 years,
should have the capacity for 10% weight growth throughout its service
life without hurting performance.

The navy foresees three primary roles: ASW, anti-surface warfare
(ASuW), and special operations. Secondary roles include electronic
intelligence, search and rescue (SAR), external cargo carrying, casualty
evacuation and combat SAR.

Candidate helicopters must be able to operate from ships as small as the
navy’s Godavari-class frigates. They also need to be able to fit in
shipboard hangars with a length of 15.5m (50.8ft), a width of 5.5m and a
height of 5.3m.

“The NMRH should be a contemporary design with modern, reliable and
fuel-efficient engines and fully integrated advanced avionics/weapons
suite employing the latest concepts for detection, identification,
classification of surface and sub-surface targets along with the ability
to detect air targets,” the RFI said.

It also outlines performance requirements for two variants: one focused on ASW/ASuW and the other for special operations.
For the former variant, India seeks an aircraft that can autonomously
locate and destroy submarines, compile an integrated picture of the
situation above and below the surface, and operate in all weather

The special operations variant needs the capability to carry unguided rockets and guns.
Possible candidates for the requirement could include the Lockheed
Martin/Sikorsky MH-60R and NH Industries’ NH90. The deal will require a
minimum 30% offset obligation under Indian laws.