Panaji, March 5 (IANS) Deeper exploration of the oceans will require increased harmonisation of aeronautics and maritime fields, Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar said on Thursday, adding that the request for proposal (RFP) for acquiring 14 multi-role heavy helicopters for maritime search and rescue operations would be issued by March-end.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the National Maritime Search and Rescue Exercise (SAREX-2020) in Goa on Thursday, Kumar also said, that India is an extremely willing partner in any partnership vis a vis maritime co-operation and that maritime security of Africa and India is a common goal, which the regions were striving towards.
“We are planning to have 80 aircrafts to support the fleet of 200 (Indian Coast Guard) boats in our search and rescue operations. As part of this we are in the process of initiating two major programmes. One, we are acquiring 14 multi-role heavy helicopters for search and rescue deep into the economic zone. We hope that RFP for this project will be issued this month-end,” Kumar said.