Sikorsky ready to supply VVIP choppers to India

Hyderabad, Oct 24 (IANS) American aircraft firm Sikorsky Thursday said it was willing to provide VVIP helicopters to India as the government takes steps to scrap the existing deal with AgustaWestland.

Sikorsky, which had also bid for the Rs.3,600 crore contract to supply 12 VVIP helicopters to the Indian Air Force, is ready to supply the helicopters if the Indian government calls it to do so.

"If we are called upon as a sequel to the process, we will be more than willing to provide the solutions, more so when we are building the cabins in India," said Sikorsky's regional executive (India & South Asia) Air Vice Marshal (retd) Arvind Walia.

He was talking to reporters on the sidelines of an event to rollout first fully indigenous S-92 chopper cabin produced together by Tata Advanced Systems Limited and Sikorsky at Adibatla near here.

Sikorsky had offered its S-92 helicopters to the Air Force but the deal was won by Italian helicopter major AgustaWestland's AW-101.

Sikorsky's willingness to supply the choppers comes amid reports that the Indian government issued show cause notice for cancelling the contract after AgustaWestland's bid to seek arbitration.

Asked about Indian Navy's much-delayed tender for multirole helicopters for which Sikorsky is also in race, Walia said the company had satisfied all requirements of valuations and also extended the commercial proposal till Dec 31 as required by the defence ministry.

"We have gone through this process for last five years. I have no doubts the process is moving forward. I look forward to hearing the opening of commercial bid," he said and claimed that there are no issues from Sikorsky perspective.

European NH-90 and Sikorsky S-70 Bravo are in the race for 16 multirole helicopters. The contract is estimated to be worth $1 billion.

The tender for choppers to carry out anti-submarine warfare and surveillance roles was delayed for various reasons. The defence ministry in July directed both the firms in the fray to extend the validity of their proposals for six more months.

The Indian Navy is also planning to issue a bid for procuring more than 120 multirole choppers expected to be worth around Rs.35,000 crore. All major chopper manufacturers including Sikorsky are likely to take part in the world's biggest tender for choppers.

Walia said Sikorsky was also looking forward to address the defence requirements of India.

"As and when government of India decides, we will be more than willing to come forward and address the requirements be it for defence applications or for commercial market," he said.

He pointed out that Sikorsky was contributing, although in a small manner, to India's stated objective of self-reliance.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Cleaning up the game starts with fans

Cleaning up the game starts with fans

... because, as recent events reveal, the BCCI has little intention of doing it. More »

Rajasthan square up to Chennai batting arsenal

Rajasthan square up to Chennai batting arsenal

Chennai have possibly the strongest top six in the current IPL, but Rajasthan have been buoyed by the return to form of their captain Shane Watson. More »

Hope to be fit for next game - Kevin Pietersen

Hope to be fit for next game - Kevin Pietersen

With two heavy defeats at the hands of Bangalore and Chennai, Daredevils currently languish near the bottom of the table. More »

Chandimal axed as T20 captain, Malinga takes over

Chandimal axed as T20 captain, Malinga takes over

Sri Lanka's cricket selectors on Wednesday sacked Dinesh Chandimal as Twenty20 captain and replaced him with Lasith Malinga, while Angelo Mathews was… More »

'A blow to BCCI, could hurt autonomous status'

'A blow to BCCI, could hurt autonomous status'

The Supreme Court prefers that the Justice Mudgal panel further investigate the IPL corruption scandal. More »

Have the ECB played an unfair game?

Have the ECB played an unfair game?

Money talks, but it is in light of this ICC shakeup that the ECB's act of soliciting of another team's coach deteriorates from free-market aggression to… More »

Perfect Punjab trounce Hyderabad

Perfect Punjab trounce Hyderabad

IPL7, GAME 9—Maxwell (95, 43b), Balaji (4-13) set up 72-run win. More »

Mudgal panel drops bombshell in court

Mudgal panel drops bombshell in court

The Mukul Mudgal probe committee dropped a bombshell in the Supreme Court on Tuesday by making a sensational claim that it was forced to stop audio recording… More »

Farbrace quits for England post

Farbrace quits for England post

He will assist Peter Moores who was unveiled as the new England coach on Saturday. More »

Moin appointed to manage Pakistan team

Moin appointed to manage Pakistan team

Pakistan on Monday reappointed Moin Khan as chief selector and manager of the national team, a week after fellow former captain Rashid Latif turned down… More »

Chennai smash Delhi for first win

Chennai smash Delhi for first win

IPL7, MATCH 8—Raina-led middle order, superlative catching give CSK a 93-run win. More »

SC asks Mudgal committee to continue

SC asks Mudgal committee to continue

Mukul Mudgal has communicated to the court his willingness to take up the investigation and has been asked to specify the terms and modalities on April… More »

'BCCI reputation lowest in 80 years'

'BCCI reputation lowest in 80 years'

The former BCCI president says he was "disillusioned" by the happenings at the emergent working committee meeting on Sunday. More »

Injured Bravo to miss rest of IPL

Injured Bravo to miss rest of IPL

Dwayne Bravo is set to be sidelined for at least four weeks due to a shoulder problem. Bravo sustained the injury when attempting a catch on the boundary… More »

NZC contemplates domestic revamp

NZC contemplates domestic revamp

New Zealand Cricket has put forward a proposal to reinvent its domestic structure and allow up to 49% private investment into the six major associatio… More »

Punjab pull off another big chase

Punjab pull off another big chase

GAME 7, SHARJAH—Maxwell, Miller, Pujara chase down Rajasthan's 192. More »

T20 test for Cheteshwar Pujara

T20 test for Cheteshwar Pujara

The class act from Saurashtra may have to rethink his approach to the mannerless format. More »

Special meeting to replace Srinivasan

Special meeting to replace Srinivasan

The BCCI is likely to convene a special general body meeting (SGM) in May to replace N Srinivasan on the board's disciplinary committee. More »

Roach escapes injury after car crash

Roach escapes injury after car crash

The West Indies fast bowler lost control of his BMW sedan due to slippery road conditions in his native Barbados on Saturday. More »

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Some members stressed on the need for proposing names with an "impeccable record and clean image". More »

Day of Supreme reckoning

Day of Supreme reckoning

Apex court to decide on BCCI’s proposed new committee today. More »

Panel can help clean mess: Raghavan

Panel can help clean mess: Raghavan

The former CBI Director is one of the three candidates proposed by the BCCI to head the enquiry into the IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal. More »

Repose faith in Indian coaches

Repose faith in Indian coaches

All of them cost plenty of dollars which I feel is unnecessary for a two- month tournament, says former cricketer Yajurvindra Singh. More »

Cook relieved after period in limbo

Cook relieved after period in limbo

The England captain is looking forward to a fresh start after a dispiriting Ashes defeat last year. More »