Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Helicopter Industry Active at Aero India 2013
AgustaWestland, BAE Systems, Bell, Boeing, Eurocopter, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL), Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Rockwell Collins, Russian Helicopters, Sikorsky and Thales are among the helicopter manufacturers and suppliers exhibiting at Aero India 2013, which starts Wednesday and continues through Sunday, Feb. 10. In the days leading up to the show, various exhibitors released details about what’s on display at the biannual event, which will feature more than 700 exhibitors, up from 675 in 2011.
During his visit to India this week, Rotor & Wing Military Editor Andrew Drwiega is getting a first-hand look at the Bangalore-based Helicopter Academy to Train by Simulation of Flying (HATSOFF), which is a joint venture of HAL and Canadian simulation provider CAE. Drwiega will tour the training center that began operations in 2010 and houses simulators for the Bell 412, Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin and HAL Dhruv, in both military and conventional configurations. Look for more online at www.rotorandwing.com in the coming days and a full report in the April 2013 print edition.
Kamov Ka-226T. Photo courtesy Russian Helicopters
Boeing reiterated on Tuesday that the AH-64 Apache is a competitor on the Indian Air Force (IAF) attack helicopter program. The manufacturer, which will also display a number of fixed-wing aircraft at the event, has submitted the H-47 Chinook for India's procurement of heavy lift helicopters.
Also on Tuesday, Eurocopter India announced that the AS565 MBe Panther is a “cornerstone” of this year's static display. The Panther, a militarized version of the AS365 Dauphin, is a competitor for both the Indian Navy’s planned procurement of utility helicopters and the Indian Coast Guard’s forthcoming acquisition of a light/medium, ship-based variant. Eurocopter is also making a Davangere Sugar-operated AS350B3e available for demo flights at Aero India.
AS565 MB Panther. Photo courtesy Eurocopter
On Monday, Russian Helicopters noted that the Kamov Ka-226T, Mil Mi-171A2 and Mi-28NE Night Hunter are making the trip to Yelahanka Air Force Station in Bangaluru. The Ka-226T is competing for an IAF contract involving surveillance and reconnaissance helicopters. The manufacturer plans to establish joint venture with Elcom Systems to assemble Russian rotorcraft in India—including the Ka-226T—under an agreement signed in December 2012. The helicopter maker secured a recent contract for additional Mi-17V-5s for IAF. Along with subsidiary Rosoboronexport, Russian Helicopters will also showcase the Night Hunter attack helicopter.
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