Russian Helicopters banks on 197 copter deal
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.