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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Rotor & Wing: Program Insider: Program Updates

Homeland Security — AgustaWestland has delivered the first batch of light twin AW109Ns to the Italian Carabinieri. Other Italian government agencies are to take delivery of AW109Ns for homeland security and law enforcement duties in the coming months.

Homeland Security — France’s Délégation Générale pour l’Armement (DGA) has ordered three new Eurocopter EC145s and taken options on two for the Sécurité Civile agency. The aircraft are to be delivered starting in January 2009 to replace the agency’s remaining six Alouette 3s.

Transport — Finland’s defense ministry has renegotiated its contract to acquire NH90s. NHIndustries had been under contract to deliver 20 of the helicopters by last October. The new deal calls for the aircraft to be delivered starting in the first half of this year. The manufacturer will pay 20 million euros as compensation for the delays.

Utility — Eurocopter expects to net about 200 extra sales of EC145s worldwide as a result of its win in the U.S. Army’s Light Utility Helicopter competition. The company already has sold one LUH, based on the EC145, to Malta.

Utility — The Chilean Air Force has signed an agreement to purchase 12 Bell 412s.

Utility — India has scrapped a contract for Eurocopter to provide AS355C3 Fennecs for its army and will re-bid the contract for 197 light utility helicopters. Bell Helicopter, which had offered its 407, had protested its elimination from the competition.

UAV — South Korea has successfully tested an unmanned tilt-rotor aircraft as part of a 101.1-billion-won ($108.4 million) project that is to run through March 2012, the Korea Aerospace Research Institute said. The 3.56-ft-long (2-m-long) drone has a 9.1-ft (2.8 m) wingspan and is a scaled-down prototype of an aircraft that the country aims to build in mid-2009.

VIP/Head of State — The United Kingdom’s royal family has picked Sikorsky Aircraft as the preferred supplier of its next transport helicopter. Sikorsky is to provide an S-76C++ to replace the S-76C+ that Queen Elizabeth II and her family fly in today.

VIP/Head of State — The Dubai Air Wing has ordered two AW139s for VVIP missions.

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