The capabilities of Eurocopter’s helicopter product line to fulfill a full range of mission requirements for the Indian Army, Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard will be spotlighted at this month’s Defexpo 2012 exposition in New Delhi.
Eurocopter’s presence at the Pragati Maidan exhibition center (Hall 11, Stand 11.4) is to include scale models of its AS550 C3 Fennec, AS565 MBe Naval Panther and EC725 rotorcraft – all of which are proposed for current and upcoming Indian armed forces competitions.
“As India looks to upgrade its military rotorcraft fleets, Eurocopter is the one manufacturer with the product range and depth to meet the full scope of operational needs for the country’s Army, Navy and Coast Guard,” said Eurocopter’s Senior Executive Vice President of Asia-Pacific Norbert Ducrot. “Additionally, Eurocopter is the first major manufacturer to establish an Indian subsidiary, reinforcing its support and services network throughout the country and further developing the company’s relationship with India and its industry.”
Eurocopter’s single-engine AS550 C3 Fennec has demonstrated its capacity for the Indian Army and Air Force’s reconnaissance and surveillance helicopter tender, exhibiting the rotorcraft’s excellent performance in Indian field evaluation trials. This combat version of the company’s renowned Ecureuil family is recognized for its mission equipment, while also offering lower flight-hour life-cycle costs than competitors. It can be fitted for anti-tank, air-to-air combat, ground support and training missions, and also is used in the utility transportation role.
“We have persevered in this extended competition because Eurocopter truly believes the AS550 C3 Fennec is best suited for India’s reconnaissance and surveillance helicopter missions, and offers an optimum solution that is in the country’s best interest,” Ducrot explained.
The AS550 C3 Fennec’s multi-role capabilities have made it a success during operations in extreme conditions from deserts to the highest altitudes that cover India’s geographical diversity. Nearly 300 AS550 Fennec helicopters are in service with 25 armed forces in 24 countries, including the UK Air Force, the Royal Australian Navy, the Brazilian Army and Air Force, the Danish Army, the United Arab Emirates Special Operations Command, the Royal Guard of Oman, the Moroccan Gendarmerie and the Chad Air Force.
Eurocopter’s Naval Panther responds to the Indian Coast Guard’s upcoming purchase of ship-based light/medium helicopters, as well as the Indian Navy’s anticipated acquisition of utility helicopters. Service-proven at high availability rates with many of the world’s naval forces and coast guard services, the Naval Panther offered to India is the AS565 MBe version with improved performance.
The AS565 MBe Naval Panther is an all-weather, multi-role light helicopter tailored for operations from ship decks, offshore platforms and land bases, with demonstrated capabilities to cover the entire range of Indian Navy and Coast Guard mission requirements – including maritime surveillance, search and rescue, offshore patrolling and counter-terrorism, casualty evacuation and vertical replenishment.
This twin-engine rotorcraft also is an ideal complementary asset for such anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface unit warfare tasks as submarine and surface target destruction. It can launch its own torpedoes and provide over-the-horizon targeting to surface ships. In the future, it also will be armed with light anti-ship missiles, giving it a ship strike capability.
Operators of Eurocopter’s Naval Panther/Dauphin helicopter family include the U.S. Coast Guard, which has a total of 102 H-65 versions in its inventory, performing duties from rescues at sea and recovery at high-altitude mountainous terrain, to armed interception/interdiction of vessels at sea and airborne protection of the Washington, D.C. capital region. The H-65 is the service’s only aircraft used aboard sea-going cutters during deployments. There are about 18 other countries with the Panther/Dauphin helicopters in their naval and coast guard services, including France, Spain, Saudi Arabia, Korea, Chile, UAE, Morocco, Israel, Argentina, Mexico and Malaysia.
For the Indian Coast Guard’s expected competition to acquire shore-based helicopters, Eurocopter’s twin-engine EC725 offers a proven rotorcraft based on the Super Puma/Cougar family. With its all-weather capability, range, heavy-lift capacity and complete systems package, the EC725 delivers the combat search and rescue (CSAR) performance required by India.
The French forces have deployed this 11-ton class helicopter successfully in Afghanistan. Major orders have also been placed in recent years for the EC725, including the Brazilian Armed Force’s 50-helicopter contract, as well as the supply of 12 units to the Royal Malaysian Air Force. The Japan Coast Guard ordered three units of the civilian version EC225, after some outstanding performance of this model during the disaster relief operations last year.
Eurocopter’s subsidiary in India has been expanding its footprint across the country with maintenance centres and operations in key cities including New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. With such in-country support network, the Indian Armed Forces can be assured of high quality and efficient services for its Eurocopter fleet.
Source: Eurocopter, an EADS N.V. company (Paris: EAD.PA)
Date: Mar 28, 2012