December 6, 2012

India Confirms Chinook as Helicopter Tender Winner

(RIA Novosti) – India has preferred Boeing Chinook over Russian Mi-26 helicopters in a tender on the delivery of 15 heavy-lift helicopters to the Indian Air Force, the Indian Defense Ministry said on Wednesday.
Both the Russian upgraded Mi-26T2 Halo and the Boeing Chinook CH-47F had qualified in the technical trials and their financial bids, covering the initial acquisition cost as well as the lifecycle costs. The Indian media earlier cited cost effectiveness and after-sales service as main factors that tilted the scales in favor of the US aircraft.
“In the proposal initiated by Indian Air Force (IAF) for procurement of 15 Heavy Lift Helicopters, Boeing with Chinook Helicopter has emerged as the L1 Vendor,” the ministry said in a statement.
“The Field Evaluation Trials for these Helicopters conducted by the Indian Air Force have found them to be compliant with all the stated Air Staff Qualitative Requirements (ASQRs),” the statement said.
The cost of the future contract will be determined following contract negotiations with Boeing, which are currently underway, the Indian military added.
Russia’s state arms exporter Rosoboronexport has recently insisted that the outcome of the tender has not yet been determined.
Russia’s traditionally strong position on the Indian arms market has been recently undermined by fierce competition with US and European companies and failures to fulfill several contracts.
Last year Russian arms exporters suffered two painful losses at Indian tenders.
Russia did not win the contract to supply 22 helicopters to India, which preferred the US AH-64D Apache to Russia’s Mi-28N.
During the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) tender announced by the Indian Air Force to replace aging MiG-21s, the Russian MiG-35 did not even make it to the finals, where the Eurofighter Typhoon twin-engine multirole fighter lost a contract worth at least $10 billion to France’s Dassault Rafale.

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