Due to increasing operational commitments projected for the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITPB), a paramilitary force under India’s Ministry of Home Affairs, a bid has been released for the wet lease of two 8-10-seater twin-engined helicopters as part of a plan to create an integral air wing.

Presently, the Indian Air Force and Border Security Force serve the needs of around 30 border posts that can be accessed only by air. Their air support includes maintaining border outposts, aerial reconnaissance, visits and inspections of supervisory officers, casualty evacuation and regular courier services.

The ITPB’s initial plan was to induct nine helicopters to provide operational support to ITBP posts located on international borders.

The wet lease that is being sought will last for two years, to be extended by mutual consent.

The helicopters should have the capability of landing on temporary airfields at a height of up to 16,000ft in the north and mountainous regions of the northeast.

The operator must be an Indian-registered company with at least three years’ experience in undertaking operations from a height of 12,000ft above mean sea level.

Minimum flying hours should be 360h per year and on-ground time for maintenance should not exceed seven days each calendar month, stated the bid document viewed by Shephard.

The ITBP is one of five elements that make up the Central Armed Police Forces of India and it is deployed along India’s border with China’s Tibet Autonomous Region. 

Recent troop build-ups by China and construction activities across the border have resulted in the sanctioning of new border posts. The ITBP contains 56 battalions with a strength of 89,432 personnel.

The last date for submissions responding to this tender is 30 January.