India approves 9 maritime patrol aircraft buy

The Defense Acquisitions Council of the Ministry of Defense has accepted the necessity for procuring nine Medium Range Maritime Reconnaissance (MRMR) aircraft for the Indian Navy. The Acceptance of Necessity (AON) this week came after the evaluation of data provided by vendors in response to the Request for Information (RFI) issued almost exactly a year back.

Interestingly, while earlier the perceived requirement was for six aircraft, this has now been upped by three, with an option for additional aircraft, the number of which is yet to be carved in stone.

The RFI had been sent to aircraft manufacturers that included Saab, Boeing, Airbus, ATR, Casa, Embraer, Bombardier, Dassault and Lockheed Martin. It is understood that the navy has taken a decision on the aircraft manufacturers to be issued the Request for Proposal (RFP) and be invited to bid.

The value of the order is estimated to be in the range of USD 1 billion.

Aircraft Manufacturers and Makes

Boeing: Boeing P-8 (Turbofan)

Embraer: 145 MP (Turbofan)

Dassault: Falcon 900 MPA (Turbofan)

Saab: Saab 2000 (Turboprop)

ATR: ATR 72 (Turboprop)

Bombardier: Q400 (Turboprop)

Airbus Military Casa: C-295 (Turboprop)

Lockheed Martin: C-130 [Interestingly, the RFI had required the aircraft to be a twin engine aircraft. The four turboprop engines of the Hercules may be considered to merely exceed requirements. And the same goes for the Dassault Falcon’s three engines.]