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Airbus | France | Helicopters & Rotary | India | Lobbying | Other Corporation | Partnerships & Consortia | RFPs | Rumours | Spotlight articles | USA

India’s Light Helicopter Contract Hits Turbulence, Stalls. Again. Starts.

February 27/19: Rocket Launchers Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) awarded French company Thales a contract to supply 70-mm rocket launchers to the Indian Armed Forces (IAF). The deal provides for 135 rocket launchers for 33 attack helicopters. Eighteen of the army’s advanced light helicopters and 15 of the Air Force’s light combat helicopters will be equipped with four 12-tube rocket launchers. The company produces the rocket launchers using composite material, making them an average of 50 percent lighter than metal launchers, and eliminating corrosion issues. The launchers are suited for use on both light and combat helicopters. Munitions available for use with the launchers range from conventional rockets to Thales’ laser-guided variant. Thales is present in India since 1953 with headquarters in New Delhi, including in defense, transport, aerospace and security markets.

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Eurocopter's AS 550 Fennec and Bell Textron's 407 were competing for the Indian Army contract for 197 light helicopters to replace its aging fleet of Chetaks (Alouette II) and Cheetahs (Alouette III). Now the whole tender is being reissued, which may introduce new competitors...

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