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), Sikorsky’s regional executive for India & South Asia, said in a statement today.
Following the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper cam as a result of which two AW-109 lie grounded in Delhi, the Indian MoD has shifted to its fleet of Russian–made Mi-17-V5 transport choppers six of which have been configured as VVIP transport. In addition to VVIP interiors the machines come with missile protection systems.
There are reports that another 10 are required to make up the full complement of VVIP fleet and that these would be sourced from 48 additional Mi-17-V5 ordered in 2015.
The Indian MoD has not issued any new RFP or even an RFI for VVIP helicopters and in this context the offer by Sikorsky comes as a surprise.
However, a source familiar with the developments said that the requirement for VVIP helos also includes state governments, hotels and high net worth individuals. Several states which had ordered AgustaWestland choppers are faced with maintenance issues as the British-Italian company has withdrawn all of its service personnel from India following the protracted brawl with the Indian government.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp has been awarded a $137 million contract by the US Navy to provide VH-3D and VH-60 Executive Helicopters support services for the Presidential Helicopters Program. “Sikorsky Aircraft Corp
Sikorsky Aircraft has won a $91 million contract for exercising an option for eight utility helicopter aircraft to Saudi Arabia. Work is expected to be completed by Dec
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
With the suspension of the AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter deal the status of the Indian Air Forces VVIP chopper procurement has left contenders vying to fulfill Indias requirement. Some reports say that the Indian Air Force now plans to use Russian Mi-17 helicopters that, ironically were dropped from competition in 2006, to ferry VVIPs
Sikorsky announced plans to expand its S-92 heavy-lift aircraft and S-76 medium lift helicopter support services in the Asia-Pacific region. Thai Aviation Services is scheduled to become the first Sikorsky Customer Support Center in Thailand by the end of 2017
India has offered training facility to the Indonesian Navy, including submarine operations as part of bilateral cooperation between the two nations. During his visit to India in December, Indonesian President Joko Widodo agreed with India to “conclude a substance bilateral Defense Agreement”
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