Wednesday, December 5, 2007
India, Russia Shut Out of Helicopter Deal?
The army is buying eight new AS532AL Cougar helicopters from Eurocopter. The $228 million deal includes upgrades to two Cougars already in service and various work on four AS555 light helicopters. The deal, according to reports, supplants an earlier plan to acquire used choppers from Germany. Just a few months ago, India's HAL and Russia's Rosoboronexport had each said helicopter deals with Chile were imminent. Perhaps Rosoboronexport jumped the gun, but sources have said Chile's army aviation brigade recommended the Mil Mi-17 to replace aging Pumas. HAL has been working to sell its Dhruv model to Chile for years. But it's unclear if the army has a requirement for a medium helicopter like the Dhruv.