Skip to comments.US pips Russia as 'lowest bidder' for heavy-lift 15-chopper deal (Indian Airforce)
Posted on 10/28/2012 9:52:48 AM PDT by ravager
NEW DELHI: 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, which has seen recent action in Iraq and Afghanistan, has emerged as the "L-1 (lowest bidder)" in comparison to the Mi-26 after both the 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.
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 refuelled 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.
Boeing's AH-64D Apache Longbow met all ASQRs (air staff qualitative requirements) but its contender the Russian Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant's Mi-28 Havoc had failed to pass muster during the field trials held by IAF.
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. Several of these procurement and production projects are meandering through the long-winding acquisition process.
The US is increasingly bagging deals in the lucrative Indian defence market, having already notched up military sales worth over $8 billion in the last few years. These include the $4.1 billion contract for 10 C-17 Globemaster-III strategic airlift aircraft, $2.1 billion for eight P-8I maritime patrol aircraft and $962 million for six C-130J "Super Hercules" planes. Negotiations are being finalized for acquiring six more C-130J as well as four more P-8I aircraft.
There was a lot of heartburn in the US after its F-16 and F/A-18 fighters lost out to the French Rafale in the almost $20 billion MMRCA (medium multi-role combat aircraft) project to supply 126 jets to IAF, which is in the final commercial negotiations stage.
OK the Mi-26 (sling load 45,000lb) isn't quite capable of lifting a fully laden Chinook (MTO 50,000lb) but it comes pretty close, and I would be shocked if the much smaller CH-47 wasn't cheaper
Ivan’s track record on big equipment contracts has been south of awful.
The Mi-26 doesn’t look like it’s as effective in a combat assault role as the Chinook. That huge rotor disk must really limit where it can land.
The proportions of those two don’t look quite right... is the Mi-26 really THAT BIG compared to the Chinook? Yikes, that thing’s huge. Its CPH (cost per hour) has got to be huge, too.
I’ve seen Mi-26 with a B727 looking airliner hanging from a sling on youtube. This thing is very huge, not in a class of Chinook. Less practical and much more expensive to purchase and operate for sure.
Here you can see it lifting over 60,000 lbs.
yes it is.
In fact there is one BFH in the world
Indian acquistion choices are usually pretty clear. The CH-47 won on cost, the AH-64 won on filling the hot and high hover mode, the C-130J won on availability, the Rafael won on performance and technology transfer.
I remember seeing those when they were first really hitting the inventory when I was a kid at Fort Rucker in the mid-60s. Pretty amazing for the time.
That’s no Mi-26, it’s a Sikorsky CH-53
I know what a '62 Plymouth Valiant looks like!
Less practical? The Mi-26 is crucial to Indian operations on the high-altitude bases up in the Himalayas, to the point that no alternative exists.
US forces have resorted to leasing these machines for the
Af-Pak missions, too.