MOSCOW, October 9 (RIA Novosti)
- Russia loses $600 mln Indian attack helicopter tender
- U.S. Beats Russia to India Helicopter Gunship Deal - Paper
- India to Buy 71 More Russian Helicopters
- Russian Mi-17s Enter Service with Indian Air Force
Russia is hoping to win a tender on the delivery of 15 heavy-lift helicopters to the Indian Air Force, state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport said.
Russia is facing a stiff U.S. competition in the tender, as 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, were opened in September.
The Mi-26T2 is the world's largest helicopter featuring an upgraded new glass cockpit, advanced airborne radio-electronic equipment and navigation system.
Mi-26T2 has a maximum take-off weight of 56,000 kg compared with the Chinook's maximum gross weight of 22,668 kg. The Chinook uses a tandem rotor layout compared with the Mi-26's conventional helicopter layout with a main and tail rotor.
The results of the tender will be announced by the end of this year, and the suppliers are given three years to deliver the first units after a contract is signed.
India, traditionally one of Russia's core customers for arms, has placed several large defense orders with the United States this year, including a $4.1 billion contract for 10 Boeing C-17 Globemaster-III strategic airlifters, $2.1 billion for eight P-8I Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft and $962 million for six C-130J transport aircraft.
Boeing has also won a $1.4 billion deal to supply India with 22 AH-64D Apache helicopter gunships beating off competition from Russia's Mil Mi-28 Night Hunter.
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- shanksinhaLogical win for Russia12:34, 09/10/2012By all common sense this tender should go to Russia. Mi-26 is in a different class altogether compared to chinook. It has good hot and hight performance and a payload equivalent to C-130 aircraft. Indian Air Force is already using the aircraft so there is hardware familiarity and maintenance commonality as well.
But, there are some significant glitches. The Russian helicopter is very maintenance intensive, lacks modern avionics and has limited night bad weather capabilities. Although, in all fairness the upgraded Mi-26T fielded in the competition is very different machine as most of these issues are addressed. The clincher however, is that like some previous deals, the decision this time could be political as well. India has agreed to buy a certain amount of American hardware as a payback for India US nuclear deal. The Chinook could come in by the back door like the Apache as a continuing payment to Uncle Sam.