"DefExpo India 2008", the Indian Army to purchase over 250 helicopters by 2020
New Delhi, India - The value of the investment is about USD one billion
(WAPA) - The Indian Army intends to double its fleet of attack and other types of helicopters to 500 by 2020. An Indian Army colonel told a seminar at the international "DefExpo India 2008" exhibition that the number of helicopters was set to increase to 500. The "DefExpo India-2008" exhibition and conference opened in New Delhi on February 16 and will close on February 19.
Around 250 helicopters are currently in service in the Indian Army, mainly obsolete domestically manufactured HAL Cheetah attack helicopters and HAL Chetak multipurpose helicopters, as well as Advanced Light helicopters (see AVIONEWS for more details).
He said around one billion dollars would be spent on replacing the Cheetahs and Chetaks with new models.
The Ground Forces are currently preparing a tender for 197 light helicopters. The previous tender, estimated at USD 600 million, which was won by Eurocopter, was annulled last December over "Deviations from specifications".
According to some reports, the principal bidders in the new tender will be Eurocopter, the U.S.'s Bell, and Russia's Kamov. (Avionews)