Russia is hoping to win a tender on the delivery of 15 heavy-lift helicopters to the Indian Air Force, state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport said.
Russia is facing a stiff U.S. 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 this year, 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 defense orders with the United States 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.