AW101 Win Indian VIP Helo Deal

KUALA LUMPUR: The story from Defencenews (below) is self explanatory. The budget is US$300 million although the final price is being negotiated. Malaysian Defence wonders whether this deal will affect our Nuri Replacement Programme. Yes, it would, some people are already scrambling through the woodwork to get their deal, on both sides of the fence, of course.

Everything will go haywire if the alleged change comes within the next two weeks. The deal will go through no doubt even with the changes, it may be delayed and another helicopter may be selected but it will go through….

From DefenseNews
AgustaWestland Wins India VIP Helo Battle

NEW DELHI – AgustaWestland’s EH101 is the final contestant for the Indian Air Force’s $300 million contract for 12 VIP helicopters after Sikorsky’s S-92 was judged lacking.

In trials that began earlier this year, the S-92 could not fulfill the Air Force’s rate-of-climb requirement and engine and technical specifications, a senior Indian Defence Ministry official said.

Air Force officials said the EH101, also called the AW101, is fully compliant. Price negotiations are expected to take about a year.

The Italian helicopter also has a larger volume and higher tail boom, which would allow VIP cars to park near the stairs, the official said.

The trials were also evaluated by participants from the Special Protection Group (SPG), the special force that protects VIPs.

Eight of the medium-lift helicopters are to be used for the president, prime minister and other Indian VIPs. The eight VIP helicopters will carry 10 passengers; the non-VIP helicopters, 30.

The VIP helicopters will have state-of-the-art, open-architecture communications suites that can provide secure access to the leadership network.

The helicopter should be low-vibration, low-noise aircraft that can fly at night and in bad weather and carry modern sensors and jammers and protection against missiles and nuclear, biological and chemical threats. The helicopter should be able to fly at 200 kilometers per hour and serve for 30 years.

In September 2006, India invited bids from Sikorsky, AgustaWestland and Kamov of Russia. Kamov was technically disqualified and Sikorsky and AgustaWestland were asked to carry out trials on a no-cost, no-commitment basis.

The copters will replace Russian Mi-8 helicopters at Palam Airport on the outskirts of New Delhi. The 12-ton aircraft were purchased in 1982 by the Indian Air Force for search and rescue, and later converted for VIP transport.

The Air Force operates about 400 helicopters, including the Russian-made Mi-8/17, Mi-24/35 and Mi-26s. The aircraft also include the indigenous Advanced Light Helicopter and the Chetak and Cheetah helicopters, built by Hindustan Aeronautics under license from France.

–Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2200 Articles
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