Rus­sian He­li­copters banks on 197 copter deal

SP's MAI - - SP’S EXCLUSIVES -

On the back of two sig­nif­i­cant losses in the In­dian de­fence space—the IAF’s heavy-lift and at­tack heli­copter com­pe­ti­tions—Rus­sian He­li­copters Co. will be fo­cus­ing all its en­er­gies at Aero In­dia 2013 on the Kamov Ka-226T Sergei heli­copter, a fi­nal­ist in the In­dian Army/IAF re­con­nais­sance and sur­veil­lance (RSH) bid, al­ready de­layed in­def­i­nitely with com­mer­cial bids still to be opened by the MoD.

Pit­ted against the Euro­copter AS550 C3 Fen­nec (which was dis­played at Aero In­dia 2011), the Ka-226T has ex­uded con­fi­dence ahead of a fi­nal de­ci­sion that can be ex­pected shortly af­ter bids are opened any time now. The deal has also weath­ered some mea­sure of con­tro­versy too but ap­pears now to be on track for the next stage—bid open­ing. The two ven­dors will have hoped that the bids would be opened ahead of Aero In­dia, but that does not ap­pear to be in the pipe­line for now. Dur­ing Aero In­dia 2013 Rus­sian He­li­copters jointly with Rosoboronex­port will show­case Mi-28NE at­tack heli­copter, even though the plat­form lost out to the AH-64D Apache Block III Long­bow chop­per in the IAF’s at­tack copter com­pe­ti­tion.

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