India is likely to commit 10 Mi-17 V5 helicopters for VVIP duty from its recent decision to order 48 more choppers from Russia.
The 10 choppers will be configured for VVIP flights with changes to the interiors, communication and defensive systems.
Informed sources told Defenseworld.net correspondent that the earmarking of 10 new machines for VVIP configuration will add to the six already committed for ferrying VVIPs from the earlier batch of 148 Mi-17 V5 helicopters ordered in 2012.
The procurement of a fresh batch of 48 machines for INR 7000 crore (US$ 1.1 billion) was cleared by India’s Defense Acquisition Council (DAC) last week and is expected to be followed by a commercial contract in which delivery schedules will be agreed upon. Russian Helicopters is expected to complete deliveries under the previous contract by this year-end which means deliveries under the new order will only start from 2016 at the earliest.
With the VVIP fleet boosted by 10 more choppers, this will expand the total to 16 Mi-17 V5 helicopters committed for VVIP duty. India had earlier sought 12 helicopters from AgustaWestand in VVIP configuration which could not be delivered due to the bribery scandal and the subsequent cancellation of the deal.
The decision to go fully with the Mi-17 V5 helicopters for VVIP duty means that there is little or no possibility of reviving the AgustaWestland deal, sources said.
At a unit price of INR 145 crore (US$ 22.5 million), the Mi-17 V5 helicopters will come at approximately half of what India would have paid for 12 AgustaWestland 118 model choppers priced at INR 300 crore each.
India will continue using six Mi-17v5 helicopters for VVIP travel as the possibility of reviving the AgustaWestland chopper deal looks remote. With two helicopters mothballed and further deliveries effectively cancelled as India has claimed its bank guarantee, the deal with AgustaWestland seems as good as dead
Indias Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe in Agustawestland VVIP chopper deal has reached an advanced stage, Minister of State for Defense Rao Inderjit Singh said in parliament on Friday. The minister said in a written reply to a question, “The investigation is in advanced stage and during the probe, the central investigative agency has sent Letters Rogatory to Italy, Tunisia, Mauritius in 2013 and UAE, UK, Switzerland, Singapore and British Virgin Islands in 2014
India's Defense Ministry has approved use of Russian Mi-17-V5 helicopters to transport persons of special importance, including the president and prime minister, according to Itar-Tass. According to repoorts, the defence ministry has approved the "conversion" of six new Mi-17 V5s into VVIP helicopters to replace the old Mi-8 helicopters with IAF's elite Communication Squadron to ferry the President and PM within the country
Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, is ready to build a fleet of Head of State helicopters for the Indian Government based on the S-92 model. “Sikorsky will be and is ready to respond to a request for proposals whenever the Indian Government issues an RFI/RFP,” said Air Vice Marshall Arvind Walia (Retd), Sikorskys regional executive for India & South Asia, said in a statement today
Indias Mi-17 helicopters will be flown to Russia for a major overhaul, which were grounded four years ago for running on outdated parts. Built by Kazan Helicopters, Mi-17 1V choppers are used primarily for disaster rescue operations and transportation of troops to remote areas
Indias Central Bureau of Investigation has received evidential material in the 3,600 crore VVIP chopper bribery scam involving Agustawestland from Italy. Italy has sent a compact disc (CD) two months ago which reportedly has details about various companies and individuals that include former Finmeccanica Chief Giuseppe Orsi and former Agustawestland head Spagnolini Bruno, their bank transactions and other documents
The Indian Ministry of defence (MoD) has set up a task force to choose domestic private companies for ‘Make In India defense procurement projects. Former DRDO chief VK Aatre has been mandated to frame selection criteria for strategic partners, who will receive defense projects like aircraft manufacturing, warship production and complex weapon systems under ‘make in India initiative
The Indian defense ministry will be clearing projects for defense offsets that could cross $35 billion by the end of this year. “A majority of projects cleared by the Defense Acquisition Council over the past year will be manufactured in India by foreign companies in partnership with Indian firms
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