IAF wants American firms back in attack copter competition

The Ministry of Defence may extend conditions that will facilitate American firms Boeing and Bell back into the 22 attack helicopter competition for the Indian Air Force (IAF) which was floated in June last year. In September last year, both countries unilaterally bailed out from the competition after they decided that they could not meet deadlines for the submission of technical bids.

Sources say that the IAF is attempting to convince the government to create a situation where the two American firms can be back in the competition -- the IAF is keen that the Boeing AH-64D Apache Longbow and Bell AH-1 Super Cobra are is part of the competition, considering they represent what they think is among the latest and best in attack chopper development. The IAF's recommendation is currently under consideration by the MoD.

The contenders officially in the fray for now are the AgustaWestland AW129 Mangusta, Eurocopter Tiger, Kamov Ka-50 Black Shark and the Mil Mi-28 Havoc.

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