Nepal Army expediting the purchase of new aircraft

Nepal Army (NA) has started the groundwork for procuring two more Russian made Mi-17 V5 helicopter. Brigadier General Nainraj Dahal (Director of DPR, NA) said, “The proposal for buying two more Mi-17 V5 has been forwarded to Defence Ministry and the approval is yet to be received.”

NA previously received budget approval for acquiring one helicopter and two fixed wing aircraft. The ministry declared to facilitate NA with additional amount of Rs8crores 56lakhs for the two fixed wing aircraft to be used for training purpose whereas Rs37 crores has been already included in the budget. Likewise, Rs41.8 crores has been allocated for the purchase of light helicopter.

NA will be obtaining two Mi-17 V5 helicopters from Rosoboronexpert, only state organization in Russia for exporting the entire range of military, dual-use products and services and technologies. But the deal will be done through Government to Government (G2G) basis due to the difficulty in dispatching amount to the Rosoboronexpert. United States previously sanctioned the Russian company Rosoboronexpert which has created disruption in forwarding amount to the company.

Russian team is expected to arrive Nepal for discussing the procedures of sending money. NA will spend a total of Rs3 arba 40 crores for two Mi-17 V5 helicopter as each of them cost Rs1 arba 70 crores.

Besides, NA has also secured the purchase of CN-235 military aircraft from Indonesia. Indonesian aerospace manufacturer PT Dirgantara (PTDI) announced that the purchase contract was signed on June 16 by Major Genera Purna B Silwal as the Master General of Ordnance of the Nepalese Army and PTDI President Director Budi Santoso at the Nepalese Army Headquarter. The aircraft is expected to be delivered to Nepal within 18 months.

Nepal Army is also expected to receive four Skytruck aircraft via American aid however; it is a long process and what we can do now is only wait for the positive news, said Mr. Nainraj Dahal.

Directorate General of Army Aviation (DGAA), Nepal Army, is also inviting sealed bids form eligible bidders to auction its aircraft, their spare parts, tools and grounded helicopters. The deadline of the invitation is yet to be crossed.

As per the bid, Nepal Army (NA) has decided to auction its two Super Puma, one Puma, five Alouette, and three MI-17s including one Cheetah choppers which was acquired during the Maoist insurgency.

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