Boeing Apache Fights Tiger in $10 Billion Asian Chopper Contest

Discussion in 'Military Aviation' started by Neil, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. Neil

    Neil Senior Member Senior Member

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    Boeing Co. (BA), Sikorsky, Eurocopter and Bell (TEXTRON), the top four helicopter makers, are focused on Asia as 1,000 orders from states spanning India to Korea are set to make it the fastest growing military-chopper market by 2015.

    Tenders in half a dozen nations should produce sales worth $10 billion over the next three years, Norbert Ducrot, executive vice president for the Asia-Pacific region at Eurocopter, the world’s No. 1 manufacturer of rotorcraft, said in an interview.

    “Asia has the ingredients to grow into one of the largest markets worldwide,” said Christophe Nurit, regional vice president at Sikorsky, a United Technologies Corp. unit that’s the No. 1 maker of military helicopters. Key bids include naval tenders in Korea and India, for which the company is pitching its Seahawk antisubmarine model, a version of the Black Hawk.

    Asian military spending rose 14 percent last year, funded by the world’s fastest growing regional economy. The helicopter market is surging as nations race to replace aging western, Soviet and home-grown models, led by emerging powers seeking the means to extend their military reach, according to Craig Caffrey, a defense analyst at IHS Jane’s DS Forecast inLondon.

    “In China and India the market is being driven by attempts to improve the mobility of their ground forces, which requires the procurement of large quantities of tactical transport helicopters,” said Caffrey, adding that Asia represents “one of the most open and diverse” markets for the aircraft.


    U.S. Slide



    While the U.S. will remain the biggest military-helicopter market over the next decade, its share of sales will dip from 50 percent to 38 percent, with the exit from Iraq last year and a withdrawal from Afghanistan planned for 2014 likely to “signal a damping in demand,” according to London-based Visiongain.

    At the same time, South Korea will jump from ninth in the world to second, displacing the U.K., India to third from fourth and China to seventh from 13th as its market doubles, led by attack helicopters, the forecaster said in a report on Feb. 6.

    “There’s a bubble of activity,” said Douglas Barrie, an analyst at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. “Rotary-wing procurement doesn’t tend to be high on must-have lists, so there’s also an element of this having been deferred to the point where things really need updating.”

    Showdown



    Competition intensified last week in Singapore, with major manufacturers pushing their products at the last major air show before a series of contract announcements begins with an Indian order for 197 light helicopters valued at about $1.5 billion.

    Eurocopter (EAD), based in Marignane, France, is offering its AS550 C3 Fennec in the competition to replace aging Aloutte models built by predecessor Sud Aviation, which sold its first helicopter in Asia in 1962. Russian Helicopters, formed to consolidate the country’s rotorcraft industry, is offering the Kamov Ka-226 — which has the NATO reporting name ‘Hoodlum’ — with a winner to be declared in March or April, Ducrot said.

    India, whose existing chopper fleet is dominated by Soviet models, also has a contest underway for 55 naval helicopters, worth $2.2 billion, for which Eurocopter is pitching the NH90 against Sikorsky’s Seahawk and Textron Inc. (TXT)’s Bell 429.

    The south Asian nation is also seeking 22 attack choppers in a tender for which Chicago-based Boeing says its AH-64 Apache has been selected as preferred bidder over the Russian Mil Mi-28 Havoc, together with 15 heavy-lift models that have attracted proposals from the Boeing Ch-47 Chinook and the Mi-26 Halo.

    Combat-Proven

    Boeing is offering the Chinook model used in Afghanistan, defense spokesman Hal Klopper said. That may enhance its credentials for operation in the Himalayas, where Indian and Pakistani forces are ranged against each other at high altitude.

    With India also due to issue proposals for coastguard helicopters this year, “there are potential tenders for all the armed forces,” said Ducrot at Eurocopter, a unit of European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. which lifted revenue 13 percent last year a record 5.4 billion euros ($7 billion).

    The surge in Asian helicopter purchases mirrors a jump in combat-plane orders led by an $11 billion Indian contract for 126 fighters, the biggest in years, provisionally awarded to Paris-basedDassault Aviation SA (AM)’s Rafale last month.

    Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT), the world’s biggest defense company, won a deal to supply 42 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters to Japan on Dec. 20 and is competing with Boeing, Eurofighter GmbH and Saab AB for a $7 billion, 60-plane contract from South Korea.

    Tiltrotor Interest

    Korea’s chopper requirements are led by the $1.5 billion AH-X tender for 36 attack helicopters, which pits the Apache against Eurocopter’s EC665 Tiger and the Bell AH-1Z, a twin- engine variant of the Cobra series known as the Viper.

    Proposals are due to be submitted in May, Jeffrey Lowinger, Bell’s executive vice president for engineering, said at the Singapore show, adding that Asia’s “tremendous growth” is spurring interest in a range of products, including the Bell- Boeing V-22 Osprey “tiltrotor,” which can also fly like a plane.

    Sikorsky (UTX)’s Nurit said in Singapore that Korea is also poised to request tenders for an antisubmarine contract which the company is “actively pursuing” with the Seahawk.

    Among other bids, Eurocopter’s Tiger is competing for a Malaysian contract, and the company is promoting the NH90 and EC725 Super Cougar to Singapore as replacements for 30 of its Super Puma transport choppers purchased in 1985. The EC725 is also competing for a six-aircraft Indonesian order, Ducrot said.

    Successful Asian bids generally require local partnerships, he said, with Eurocopter manufacturing the NH90 in Australia, the Super Puma in Indonesia and teamed with Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd. (047810) to develop the KAI Surion utility helicopter, for which South Korea placed 250 orders last year and which could be qualified for export to Europe from July onwards.





    Boeing Apache Fights Tiger in $10 Billion Asian Chopper Contest | idrw.org
     
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  3. Neil

    Neil Senior Member Senior Member

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    showdown has already begin...

    Navy: Europe firm ‘twisting’ facts for $1bn deal



    A big controversy has hit the acquisition of 16 Multi-Role Helicopters for the Indian Navy, a deal estimated to be worth around $1 billion, with the Indian Navy accusing European vendor NH Industries (NHI) of trying to “mislead” the defence ministry, “twist” the Naval Staff Qualitative Requirements (NSQRs), “falsify” the Request for Proposal (RFP) and cause delays with “unreasonable que-ries/concerns”.

    Docu-ments accessed by this newspaper show the Navy criticised the European firm after it raised doubts about the helicopter of its American rival Sikorsky. This new US-European battle for an Indian defence deal is leading to a lot of acrimony.
    NHI earlier alleged Sikorsky does not meet the NSQRs for the deal, and complained to the defence ministry. The Navy has now made it clear that both NHI and Sikorsky have met the NSQRs, making them both eligible. The Navy earlier submitted its Field Evaluation Trials (FETs) report to the MoD on acquiring the anti-surface and anti-submarine MRHs. NHI, based in France and with French, German and Italian participation, pitched its NH90 helicopter against Sikorsky’s S70B.
    NHI earlier raised doubts about the Sikorsky helicopter on various aspects, including dual redundancy, fitment of fuel tanks, full authority automatic flight control system, fuel reserves at the end of mission, sensor functions and usage monitoring system. The Navy has, however, given the Sikorsky helicopter a clean chit.
    In its final recommendations and in response to NHI’s allegations, the Navy said: “It emerges that NHI is attempting to mislead the higher authorities and cause delays… with unreasonable queries/concerns. The Indian Navy has evaluated the (NHI) NH90 and (Sikorsky) S70B helicopters, and considers both platforms meet the NSQRs specified in… the RFP.”
    On NHI’s queries on the Sikorsky helicopter’s “sensor functions” and “fitment of both external and internal fuel tanks”, the Navy said: “It is clearly evident that NHI have twisted the NSQR, thereby falsifying the Request for Proposal on the MRH with an aim to misleading the higher authorities MoD”.
    NHI had raised doubts on several other features. It said: “(The NSQR) requires no failure of single system should lead to a catastrophic failure. NHI would like to understand how this is demonstrated since the S70B does not have dual redundancy built in to all aircraft flight control systems.”



    Navy: Europe firm ‘twisting’ facts for $1bn deal | idrw.org
     
  4. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    As far as i know India has chosen Apache
     

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