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India completes VIP, medium lift helo trials

India completes VIP, medium lift helo trials

India´s Air Force is likely to select a new medium-lift and VIP transport helicopter around mid-2008.

Vying for the contract are the AgustaWestland AW101 and Sikorsky S-92. The successful bidder is expected to begin the delivery of eight 12-seater VIP helicopters and four 30-passenger medium-lift helicopters from around early 2010. Russia´s Kamov was eliminated from the competition in 2006. The VIP helicopters, which will be used by senior government officials, will also be supplied with equipment capable of providing encrypted communications.

The aircraft will replace Russia-made Mi-8 helicopters, which were converted to VIP transport configuration in the late 1980s, and are expected to remain in service for at least 30 years. The contract, which could be worth around $ 250 million, should be signed in early 2009.

According to Flightglobal.com


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