SP Guide Publications puts forth a well compiled articulation of issues, pursuits and accomplishments of the Indian Army, over the years

— General Manoj Pande, Indian Army Chief

I am confident that SP Guide Publications would continue to inform, inspire and influence.

— Admiral R. Hari Kumar, Indian Navy Chief

My compliments to SP Guide Publications for informative and credible reportage on contemporary aerospace issues over the past six decades.

— Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari, Indian Air Force Chief

Chopper Deal Gets the Axe

Issue: 04-2009By Air Marshal (Retd) B.K. PandeyIllustration(s): By 255.jpg

India has scrapped a tender for 22 attack helicopters as four international firms vying for the multi-million-dollar deal had been unable to meet the military’s requirements. The request for proposal (RFP) was cancelled last week after the four companies could not meet the qualitative requirements, Indian Defence Ministry spokesman Sitanshu Kar said. A fresh RFP will be floated shortly, Kar added, without specifying the date. A ministry source said the attack helicopter tender, floated last year, was worth nearly $550 million (Rs 2,720 crore). The source added EADS, which owns the world’s largest helicopter-maker Eurocopter, was ready to bid again.


Last year, an Request for Proposal was floated for 22 attack helicopters to replace the ageing fleet of Mi-35 of the Indian Air Force (IAF). Initially, six foreign machines were in the race—AW129 Mangusta from AgustaWestland, Bell’s AH-1Z Super Cobra, Boeing’s AH-64D Apache Longbow, Eurocopter’s Tiger HAD (EC 665), Kamov’s Ka-50 and the Mi-28 NE from Mil Moscow marketed by Rosoboronexport.

In view of the IAF’s plans to deploy the new machines by 2010, there was a degree of urgency and hence, the procurement process was put on fast track by the Ministry of Defence (MOD). Miffed with the Indian government’s refusal to accede to its request for extension of deadline to submit response to the RFP, Boeing opted out of the race. Bell Helicopter also followed suit as the out-of-production AH-1Z Cobra was available only through government-togovernment Foreign Military Sales involving conversion of existing airframes. Bell Helicopter, therefore, was unable to bid for direct sale of new machines. As revealed by the MOD, the products offered by the remaining four companies, two from Europe and two from Russia, did not measure up to the stipulated Qualitative Requirements.