US helicopter firm makes commercial offer to Indian Navy

In a bid to counter bad press that they are receiving, the UShelicopter company Sikorsky has made a commercial offer to the IndianNavy. The offer includes servicing and spares for six obsolete SikorskyUH-3H Sea King helicopters that came onboard the USS Trenton renamed asINS Jalashva which have received a lot of flak for their sub standardquality.

The comptroller and auditor general has strongly criticised the qualityof the machines on the aircraft carrier that came through US governmentforeign military sales.

According to the CAG the ($39 million) machines did not come equippedwith any type of weather or surface surveillance radar and the defenceministry failed to secure any “guarantee for the replacement ofdefective rotables due to obsolescence”.

Talking to FE, AVM (retd) AJS Walia, managing director for India andSouth Asia, Sikorsky Aircraft said that, “We have sent an unsolicitedletter to the Indian Navy offering to provide whatever support theywant. We have also offered to supply spares which will finish by 2010.”

“These helicopters came through the government to government route. Itwas not a commercial deal. And that we are offering now will be acommercial deal between us and the Indian Navy,” Walia added.

According to the comptroller and auditor general, the 1960s vintageaircraft – decommissioned by the US Navy in 2005 – were “life-expiredand had defects that could compromise their operational effectiveness”.

The INS Jalashva, is the second largest ship with the Indian Navy,after the aircraft carrier Viraat and is believed to ‘add punch toIndia’s maritime forces’ with its capacity to participate in navaloperations, peacekeeping operations, tri-service operations andhumanitarian relief.

The US Congress had cleared the transfer of the vessel under theForeign Military Sales Program in August 2005 and the government signedthe ‘Letter of Acceptance’ on July 31, 2006.

Posted in , , . Bookmark the permalink. RSS feed for this post.

Leave a Reply

Powered by Blogger.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


Swedish Greys - a WordPress theme from Nordic Themepark. Converted by