At Aero India 2011, Eurocopter displayed the AS 550 C3 Fennec, its contender for the Indian Army / IAF reconnaissance and surveillance helicopter (RSH) competition. This year, its competitor Kamov will display the Ka-226T Sergei, according to that press release.
The timeline of this competition so far provides a better sense of just how delayed it is:
- July 2008: Indian MoD issues RfP to global vendors -- this is the second RfP after the first competition was scrapped following certain deviations by contenders.
- Dec 2008: Technical and commercial offers submitted by contenders.
- Nov 2009: MoD calls for field evaluation trials.
- Jan 2010: Field evaluation trials commence - Winter trials in desert & high altitude in Phase 1 during Jan-Feb 2010, Maintainability evaluation trials in Phase 2 during March 2010, Evaluation trials in deserts and high altitude in Phase 3 during May-Jun 2010 and finally, Role and mission systems trials in Russia and France during Phase 4 in Jan 2011.
- Jan 2011: Army and IAF submit trial report to MoD.
- Feb-Dec 2011: General staff evaluation and vetting of the trial report submitted by the Army and IAF
- Jan 2012: MoD orders Technical Oversight Committee (TOC) to validate the General Staff Evaluation report
- April 2012: MoD orders Special Technical Oversight Committee (STOC) to validate the TOC report.
- June 2012: STOC submits its final report to the Defence Secretary.
Last checked, the MoD hasn't opened commercial offers yet, and a decision remains pending. Last month, the two contenders -- Kamov and Eurocopter -- were asked to renew their commercial offers for a record fourth time.
The Army is reported to have appealed to the MoD for the fourth time recently to speed up the process and make a decision. MoD sources suggest that inquiries into alleged corrupt practices in a separate deal for AgustaWestland VVIP helicopters (deliveries of which have begun) have slowed a decision on the 197 copter bid.