Ministry of Defence to scrap $1.5-bn deal for 197 light utility helicopters deal
As reported earlier by FE, recently the Defence Acquisitions Council (DAC) refused to go ahead with the project on the grounds that the army chief was traveling out of the country. However, sources claim "in the current situation (the VVIP helicopter scam) the government is putting all major deals on hold."
In 2003, India issued an RfP for 197 light helicopters estimating a deal worth between $500-$600 million to buy 60 helicopters outright, with the remaining 137 being built under license by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). Eurocopter’s AS550 C3 Fennec and Bell Textron’s 407 competed in the second and final round of summer trials, and in 2007 the process ended up completely derailed. A new RFP out for a successor “Reconnaissance and Surveillance Helicopter program” (RSH) went out in 2008, and testing was done in 2010.
Earlier, sources confirmed "both the Eurocopter's Fennec and its competitor, the Russian Kamov Ka-226T, have not completely met the specifications". However, a technical panel has studied the deviations and made certain recommendations to the MoD. The decisions made have not been accepted by the Defence Acquisition Council, said the sources.