Sunday, February 11, 2007

Bangalore: The focus has shifted from fighters to choppers. Not just in the Indian Air Force, which will be headed by a helicopter pilot for the first time, but also at Aero India which wraps up on Sunday.
After Air Chief-Designate Air Marshal Fali Homi Major went for a spin in the American CH-47 Chinook helicopter, Boeing IDS (Integrated Defence Systems) capped off its offerings to the armed forces with a feverish sales pitch for the multi-mission helicopter.
The IAF plans to buy 12 heavy-lift helicopters to buttress its tactical and combat support requirements, in a deal that is estimated to be upwards of $500 million. Tom Cunningham, director, International Business Development, said once the deal goes through, his company would take 24-30 months for deliveries. Sikorsky's CH-53K is also likely to compete for the IAF's helicopter tender. The IAF is yet to release the the request for proposal for the heavy-lift choppers.
During the airshow, Boeing flew several IAF pilots in the Chinook to give them a glimpse of the chopper's "versatility and maneouverability".
10/02/07 Rahul Singh/Hindustan Times

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