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Defexpo 2018

Ready to provide VVIP choppers to India: Sikorsky

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BENGALURU (PTI): The US-based helicopter manufacturer Sikorsky, which made an unsuccessful bid to supply its S-92 choppers to India, has said it is ready to provide VVIP transport helicopters whenever the Government chooses to re-tender them.

"If and when the Indian government chooses to re-tender the VVIP (transport helicopters), we will be ready, and we know we have the solution-aircraft in the world, which is going to be for the long time the best executive transport," a top official of United Technologies Company, parent company of Sikorsky, told reporters on the margins of Aero India 2015 here.

Sikorsky, which pitched its S-92 helicopter but lost to AgustaWestland in the initial tender, was ready to take part once again, Vice President (Defense Systems and Sevives) Robert Kokorda said.

India had cancelled the deal for 12 VVIP helicopters with Italian defence group Finmeccanica's AugustaWestland unit last year over an alleged scam in the deal. These helicopters are used to carry high-ranking officials.

Kokorda said, "We have the finest VVIP helicopters on planet and we fly heads of states in many countries. India and the leadership of the country deserves to have the finest VVIP transportation," he said.

To replace its Russia-made Mi-8 aircraft, India needs such helicopters as it has modified some of its Mi-17 helicopters for VVIP missions.

Asked about the countries Sikorsky is exporting S-92 helicopter cabin to, President of Sikorsky Military Systems Samir Mehta said the company has already exported almost 100 cabins to other countries, ranging from the US, Europe, Middle-East and Asia.

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