India Cancelled Plans to Buy Light Helicopters from Eurocopter

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India has cancelled its intended procurement of 197 military helicopters from EADS's subsidiary Eurocopter. In February this year Eurocopter was selected as the preferred supplier for the helicopters, beating US competitor Bell Textron which was the second finalist for the bid, estimated at US $600 million value (the expected life cycle value could be up to $4 billion). (More...)

The deal collapsed after raising public scrutiny about EADS' illegal use of middle men and irregularities during the bidding process. This is This is the second major defense setback this year – another international tender for purchasing 400 upgraded 155 mm 52 calibre guns for the Army was scrapped few months ago. Eurocopter offered a military version of the AS350 helicopter, designated AS550 C3. Bell proposed a military version of the Bell 407. While the Indian defense Ministry is expected to approach other bidders. The recent setback is expected to further delay the planned replace of India's ageing Cheetah and Chetak helicopters fleet (locally built Alouette II and III) by at least two years.

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