- The coast guard is now close to getting its own fleet of medium lift choppers, the requirement for which was raised after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks that exposed chinks in the surveillance and interception capabilities of the force.
- While the coast guard currently operates ageing Chetaks as well as indigenous Advanced Light Choppers (ALH) for patrolling, search and rescue and casualty evacuation, it will be able to cover larger areas faster with the new fleet.
- While initially, three competitors were bidding for the contract, Italian firm Finmeccanica was dropped in 2014 after it came under a corruption taint following the VVIP chopper deal scandal.
- Officials have said that whole both the EC 725 and S 92 managed to meet all the technical requirements of the coast guard after two years of extensive trials, the Airbus machine turned out to be cheaper.
- The contract will also lead to the pumping in of over Rs 600 crores into the Indian defence and aerospace manufacturing sector as it carries an offset obligation of at least 30 percent for the winner.
Source: Economic Times