Sikorsky ready to pitch in if Agusta chopper deal scrapped

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Hyderabad, October 24: With the government moving towards cancelling the AgustaWestland deal for VVIP choppers, its former rival in the tender U.S. firm Sikorsky on Thursday said it is ready to provide such helicopters to India if the contract is scrapped.

Sikorsky Corporation and AgustaWestland were competitors for supplying 12 VVIP choppers to the Indian Air Force but the Rs. 3,600 crore contract was bagged by the Anglo-Italian company in 2010.

“If we are called upon, we will be more than happy to provide a solution. More so when we are building the cabins for the choppers in India,” Sikorsky India head AVM A.S. Walia said when asked if his firm would be willing to supply its helicopters to India if the controversial deal was scrapped.

He was talking to reporters on the sidelines of an event to launch the first 100 per cent indigenous S-92 chopper cabin produced together by Tata Advanced Systems Limited and Sikorsky here.

The government had issued on October 21 a final show cause notice to AgustaWestland for cancelling its contract for violating the contractual terms including the integrity pact and given it three weeks to reply to the communication.

Sikorsky had offered its S-92 helicopters in the tender for supplying 12 VVIP choppers to the Air Force but the deal was won by AgustaWestland’s AW-101.

Commenting on the indigenous production of S-92 helicopter cabins in Hyderabad, Sikorsky’s Senior Vice President Shane Eddy said, “It’s (S-92) over 5000 precision components now are being made here through a strategic collaboration between the two companies and TASL assembles the cabin at its facility here.”

He said the first fully indigenous cabin produced here would be the 50th such cabin produced by the firm in India.

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