The US is now all set to bag yet another mega Indian defence deal, with the iconic Boeing-manufactured Chinook Heavy Lift Helicopters emerging as the cheaper option than its strong contender the Russian Mi-26 choppers.
Defence ministry sources said the commercial bid for the twin-rotor Chinook has emerged as the "L 1 (Lowest Bidder)" in comparison to the Russian Mi-26 after both these huge helicopters passed the extensive technical field trials conducted by Indian Air Force (IAF).
"The present contract is for 15 such multi-mission helicopters. The Chinook bid was lower both in terms of initial direct acquisition cost as well as life cycle cost. The contract negotiation committee will now finalize the deal for the Chinook," said a source.
Being Chinook in Action ( Image Courtesy - aviationnews.eu )
Known for their powerful contra-rotating tandem rotors, Chinooks are being operated by around 20 countries for heavy-lift assault, troop movement, logistics support, aerial battlefield recovery and special operations. Capable of being refueled mid-air for extended range, a Chinook can carry 55 combat-ready troops or over 11,100 kg of logistical supplies or weight.
This is the second time that American helicopters have outclassed — both technically and commercially — their Russian counterparts in recent months. As reported earlier, India is getting ready to order 22 heavy-duty Apache attack helicopters for around $1.4 billion.
Overall, the Indian armed forces are looking to induct as many as 900 Helicopters in the coming decade, including 440 Light Utility and Observation, Naval Multi-role (90), Light Combat (65), Heavy-duty Attack (22), Medium-lift (139) and Heavy-lift (15), among others.
News Courtesy - Rajat Pandit @ TimesOfIndia