The defence ministry today approved procurement of 111 utility helicopters for the Indian Navy at a cost of Rs 21,738 crore.

The long-pending proposal was cleared at a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, official sources said.

They said 16 helicopters will be procured at a flyaway condition while 95 will be manufactured in India.

The acquisition of the helicopters will be made under the strategic partnership model.

The government will now start the process to identify a foreign helicopter maker and an Indian defense firm for a joint venture for the project.

The procurement of the helicopters for the Indian Navy will be the first major acquisition project under new MoD’s guidelines published in June for a new strategic partnership policy under the framework of the Defense Procurement Procedure 2016.