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Friday, February 04, 2011

EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS: Eurocopter Fennec At Recent Indian Army Trials In Leh

This Eurocopter AS550C3 Fennec is expected to be on static display at Aero India 2011 next week at Yelahanka. The helicopter is competing for the Indian Army's 197 reconnaissance and surveillance helicopter (RSH) competition against the Russian Kamov Ka-226.

13 comments:

Anup said...

Any idea when India sign contract ??

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

As they say, a photo is worth a thousand words. How on earth can Eurocopter even dream about selling it to India as a RSH platform when it is not even equipped with any RSH tools like FLIR turret or gun pods? The very idea of holding flight trials in-country is to demonstrate the complete system under operational conditions. In this case, thanks to the photos, the most recent round of flight trials was just another farce. No wonder Bell Helicopter Textron refused to participate in the so-called 'competitive' bidding process, as evidently there was no level playing field.

Anonymous said...

Those two pilots lost their lives due to vintage choppers in our fleet. How many pilots lives do you want to sacrifice? Do you think Indian lives are cheap???

Anonymous said...

@ prasun : perhaps you saw the RFP to be suuuch an expert ? Or you don't trust the professionalism of the Indian Army to evaluate what it needs ? Why do you defend Bell which does not dare to participate in competition but only accept to sell on FMS route ? I feel that suspect.

Anonymous said...

pakistan army already has this!!!!

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@10.26PM: FYI I not only saw the RFP, but also have a copy of it and I have also seen the result of the first round of field evaluations in which the Fennec had clearly failed (because its turbine refused to kick in after being left out in the open for one whole night at Leh, as per the field evaluation guidelines, and the Fennec had to wait for a whole 48 hours at Leh until the arrival of a GPU from Delhi). The Bell 407 on the other hand had no such problems with turbine start-up. And yet when the field evaluation report was finalised, the Fennec was declared the winner!!! That's the reason Bell Helicopter Textron cried foul and threatened to go public with this revelation, which made the Mod panic and cancel the first RFP.

Anonymous said...

How did Ka-226 fared in these trials , its a twin engine chopper and certainly has a modular concept.

Is twin engine light chopper like Ka-226 more reliable then single engine Fennec ?

Anonymous said...

@Prasun: you can believe this kind of fairy tale if you wish, Bell will pay you tribute for that. And if finally Kamov wins, what will you say, that the Russians twisted the arm of the Army ? Whoever wins excepting your beloved US will not be granted by you, I suspect.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 11.53 AM

Why are you so much against Prasun? Are you scared that he is spilling the beans wrt corruption in the armed forces?

Anonymous said...

Nothing against Prasun, on the contrary ! I just don't believe in white knights in commercial business and I don't think Bell or any other company is much different so why accusing Eurocopter ? Any proof ?? They offer a good machine, as I'm sure Bell did, but ultimately one must win. Too much deals are cancelled on the basis of press rumours and the final price is paid by our armed forces.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@11.53AM: It's funny that you mention the results of the first round of field evaluations that exists in black-and-white form, should be a 'fairy tale' for you. God alone knows with what you were intoxicated when you reached such a conclusion! I have no problem with whosoever emerges as the winner, provided all the mandated norms were adhered to in a level playing field.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@11.08PM: For you living in denial may be something to be proud of, but it doesn't mean others have to agree with you. No one accused Eurocopter of any wrongdoing. The wrong was done by those officials who were in charge of writing the evaluation reports in IAF HQ and the MoD. And if Bell is being accused by the likes of you as engaging in rumour-mongering, then all the more reason why the MoD should have gone ahead and inked the contract two years ago. The mere fact that the MoD scrapped the first RFP process and initiated a new one proves beyond doubt that wrongdoing was indeed the case with the first round of in-country competitive flight evaluations.

Anonymous said...

OK, I've been flying both Bell 407 and AS 350B3 (civil version of The AS 550C3), and no doubt about it at high altitude (hot and high) the AS 550C3 outfit the 407. The Allison do not stand hot and high, period.
The fact the AS 550C3 did not start in a cold night come from the battery not the engine at all. They would have taken a truck battery it would have started, but they cannot because of the FADEC presence..!!! hence the delay for a cart.
The bell products are good for what they are made, look the ARH competition cancelled by US Army, the OH-58D with the most powerfull Allison in the series taht cannot stand afghanistan with normal payload, just look for fact to analyse, do not discriminate a product because it is just French..!!
Regards