The Indian Navy has begun the procurement of new light utility helicopters (LUHs) to replace its aging fleet of Chetaks.

Navy officials said a twin-engined helicopter of modern airframe design and fully integrated advanced avionics would replace the existing fleet of Chetak helicopters, which were inducted 30-35 years ago, according to

A global request for information has already been issued for the procurement of new LUHs and a request for proposal is expected to be issued by mid 2010.

European consortium Eurocopter, Italy’s AgustaWestland and Russia’s Kamov are expected to present their latest models to the Indian Navy.