Moscow: Russia is hoping to win a tender for the delivery of 15 heavy-lift helicopters to the Indian Air Force, state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport said. Russia is facing a stiff US competition in the tender, as both the Russian upgraded Mi-26T2 Halo and the Boeing Chinook CH-47F had qualified in the technical trials and their financial bids, covering the initial acquisition cost as well as the lifecycle costs, were opened in September.
The Mi-26T2 is the world's largest helicopter featuring an upgraded new glass cockpit, advanced airborne radio-electronic equipment and navigation system. Mi-26T2 has a maximum take-off weight of 56,000 kg compared with the Chinook's maximum gross weight of 22,668 kg. The Chinook uses a tandem rotor layout compared with the Mi-26's conventional helicopter layout with a main and tail rotor. The results of the tender will be announced by the end of 2012, and the suppliers are given three years to deliver the first units after a contract is signed.
India, traditionally one of Russia's core customers for arms, has placed several large defence orders with the US this year, including a $4.1 billion contract for 10 Boeing C-17 Globemaster-III strategic airlifters, $2.1 billion for eight P-8I Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft and $962 million for six C-130J transport aircraft.
Boeing has also won a $1.4 billion deal to supply India with 22 AH-64D Apache helicopter gunships beating off competition from Russia's Mil Mi-28 Night Hunter.