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L'hélicoptère multirôle Sikorsky SH-70 Seahawk choisi par la Marine indienne...mais il restait le seul en lice depuis l'élimination du NH-90

L'hélicoptère multirôle Sikorsky SH-70 Seahawk choisi par la Marine indienne...mais il restait le seul en lice depuis l'élimination du NH-90 | Newsletter navale |

New Delhi, December 5
The Indian Navy has finally selected the US Sikorsky S-70B Seahawk for its shipboard multi-role helicopter (MRH) requirement. Sixteen helicopters will initially be bought for $1 billion.

Sikorsky’s tender was opened December 4 on the Navy Day, soon after the Navy Chief, Admiral Robin Dhowan, said that the government was fast-tracking various programmes for the modernisation of the armed forces, and that some of the Naval projects would be cleared “very soon.” Indeed so, the opening of the commercial bid at the Ministry of  Defence (MoD), where the files have been held up for one reason or another for three years, was a Navy Day gift to the force.

Admiral Dhowan, who hosted a big Navy Day reception, did not say anything on the ceremonial occasion but was visibly in smiles and high spirits. Only a day before, on December 3, he had told this writer that it was “comforting” to the navy brass to know that long-pending requirements were now being procedurally cleared on fast-track.

In an interview with India Strategic ( before the Navy Day, the admiral indicated that the Navy would likely exercise the option to buy the stipulated 16 helicopters along with an option for another eight. “To address critical shortages, the Indian Navy is progressing a case for acquisition of 16 MRH and I expect the commercial bids to be opened shortly. This project may be expanded through an option clause to buy additional eight helicopters to meet any additional immediate requirements.” 

The Navy is also buying 16 more Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) helicopters from state-run HAL, he disclosed.

The Sikorsky deal is estimated at around $1 billion-plus.

Patrick H. 's insight:

Le NH-90 ayant été éliminé il y a un mois, il n'y avait plus aucune surprise sur ce choix :

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La Marine brésilienne commande 3 hélicoptères MH-60 Seahawk supplémentaires

La Marine brésilienne commande 3 hélicoptères MH-60 Seahawk supplémentaires | Newsletter navale |

The Brazilian Naval Aviation has ordered 3 Sikorsky S70B / MH-60 Seahawk to replace its aging SH-3 Sea King operated for more than three decades in the 1st Squadron Helicopter Anti-Submarine (HS-1, Squadron Guerrero). The package includes a tactical operational flight trainer, five sets of night vision goggles AN / AVS-9, spare parts, support equipment, tools and test equipment, personnel training and associated equipment, publications and technical documentation.

Patrick H. 's insight:

Après les 2 exemplaires déjà livrés l'an dernier et 2 autres auparavant :

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Le gouvernement canadien et Sikorsky trouvent un nouvel accord sur le contrat des hélicoptères navals Cyclone

Le gouvernement canadien et Sikorsky trouvent un nouvel accord sur le contrat des hélicoptères navals Cyclone | Newsletter navale |

The Harper government has reached a deal to amend its contract with the U.S. manufacturer of the long-delayed CH-148 Cyclone maritime helicopters, The Canadian Press has learned.

The agreement with Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., which is still being vetted by government lawyers, paves the way for next year's retirement of Canada's aging fleet of Sea King choppers, said several defence and government sources.

"We have a contract," said one senior official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

The inability of the Conservatives to replace the five-decade-old anti-submarine helicopters, which operate primarily off the decks of navy frigates, has been a huge political embarrassment and the revived Cyclone delivery just happens to coincide with the run up to the 2015 election.

Even still, the Cyclones — a military version of Sikorsky's S-92 helicopter — won't be fully operational until 2018.

Former defence minister Peter MacKay once referred to the program as the "worst procurement in the history of Canada.”

Public Works, which oversees the $5.7-billion project, announced in January the government would try to reach a revised agreement to allow for the delivery and gradual introduction of the yet-to-be proven Cyclones.

So far, only four of the 28 aircraft, which were initially ordered in 2004 by Paul Martin's Liberal government, have been delivered for flight testing at the air base in Shearwater, N.S., near Halifax.

Defence and government sources said Monday no additional money would be put into the program and Sikorsky would only get paid for the delivery of capable aircraft.

It will be early next month before all of the legal text of the agreement is signed by government officials.

It's the second time the Conservatives have negotiated a contract amendment with Sikorsky, which has missed previous deadlines to deliver completed helicopters, accruing more than $88-million in penalties in the process.

How the new arrangement may or may not affect those fines is unclear.

The air force is prepared to take ownership of up to eight test helicopters before the Cyclones are declared capable, said another defence official, who was also not authorized to speak publicly about the deal.

Word of the new arrangement came as the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration issued a special air worthiness bulletin about the Cyclone's civilian equivalent, warning of salt crusting on engines of helicopters used in that country for search and rescue.

The watchdog said Monday the "concern is not an unsafe condition," but pilots should be alert for a loss of power or the stalling of compressors in light of the findings.

There have been myriad technical concerns in converting the S-92 into a more hardened military version; many in the defence industry say both the government and Sikorsky under-estimated the challenges.

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Le Seahawk S-70B de Sikorsky va-t-il remporter le contrat d'hélicoptères pour l'Inde dont le NH-90 est écarté

Le Seahawk S-70B de Sikorsky va-t-il remporter le contrat d'hélicoptères pour l'Inde dont le NH-90 est écarté | Newsletter navale |

DELHI: The infamous VVIP helicopter scandal has claimed another victim. The defence ministry has ejected the European NH-90 chopper, linked to Italian conglomerate Finmeccanica, out of the race to supply 16 multirole helicopters to the Navy.
The commercial bid of the other contender in fray, American Sikorsky-70B choppers, will now be opened this month after a long delay. "Both NH-90 and Sikorsky-70B choppers had cleared the technical trials held a couple of years ago," said a MoD source.
"But their commercial bids were not opened due to various controversies. Now, the Sikorsky bid will undergo evaluation and final price negotiations will follow. The defence procurement policy permits single-vendor situation if the bids were earlier submitted in a competitive manner," he added.
The long-pending acquisition of the 16 helicopters is critical for the Navy since it is fast running out of choppers that can detect, track and kill enemy submarines at a time when the Chinese navy has stepped up its forays in the Indian Ocean region.

The Navy is also keen to kick-start a much bigger project for manufacturing 124 multi-role helicopters, armed with anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and early-warning capabilities as well as customized for amphibious commando operations, in an indigenous project worth around $3 billion.

The procurement process for the 16 new helicopters, which was initiated several years ago, had been kept on hold since the CBI began investigating the now-scrapped 556 million euro contract for the 12 VVIP AW-101 helicopters of AgustaWestland, the UK-based subsidiary of Finmeccanica.
With the Modi government implementing "a partial ban" on Finmeccanica, under which ongoing contracts will continue but there will be no fresh deals, the European NH-90 chopper has now been eliminated from the naval chopper procurement case.

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Etats-Unis : l'intention du DoD d'interrompre le plan d'acquisition des MH-60 secoue Sikorsky

Etats-Unis : l'intention du DoD d'interrompre le plan d'acquisition des MH-60 secoue Sikorsky | Newsletter navale |

The U.S. Navy’s plan to cut short a multi-year deal for maritime helicopters may have serious implications for Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., as well as the military and the broader defense industry, a company official said.

For instance, the deal doesn’t just include the sea service. In July 2012, both the Army and Navy inked the five-year, $8.5 billion contract with the subsidiary of Hartford, Conn.-based United Technologies Corp.

The agreement called for the services to buy at least 653 helicopters through December 2017, including a mix of UH-60M Black Hawks and HH-60M medical evacuation variants for the Army and MH-60R and MH-60S Seahawks for the Navy. It also included options for an additional 263 aircraft, increasing the potential value of the deal to $11.7 billion.

“The impacts, no matter what the scenario, are very significant to us,” Tim Healy, director of naval helicopter programs for Sikorsky, said in a telephone interview. “That’s why we’re so concerned.”

Automatic budget cuts known as sequestration forced the Navy to take the surprising — some say unprecedented — step of canceling plans to buy 29 MH-60Rs in fiscal 2016, the last year of the contract. The service determined they won’t be necessary if it decides to decommission one of its 11 nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, the USS George Washington (CVN-73).

But the multi-year deal was based on both of the services buying the agreed-upon quantity, so if the Navy backs out, the Army would also be affected, Healy said. “It’s not just a multi-year contract, it’s a multi-service contract,” he said. “The contract is such that if you cancel the contract, you cancel it all.”

Like in other multi-year contracts, the company offered more favorable pricing terms in return for a longer-term commitment for orders from the government.

The Defense Department uses “multi-year procurement” (MYP) or “block-buy contracting” (BBC), as the deals are officially known, to purchase all sorts of weapons and equipment, from aircraft and ships to tanks and trucks to rifles and missiles. They’re estimated to save anywhere from 5 to 15 percent compared to annual contracts, according to an April 1 report from the Congressional Research Service.

“Our program — the Romeo, specifically — it’s even higher than that,” Healy said.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has said canceling the Navy helicopter contract would cost about $250 million. That appears to be only what’s listed in Navy budget documents as funding for advancement procurement in 2016, meaning the true cost of termination could be higher.

As part of the contract, Sikorsky still intends to deliver versions of the helicopter to the governments of Australia and Denmark, and is actively seeking other opportunities for international sales of the aircraft, Healy said. Under a so-called foreign military sale (FMS), the U.S. buys weapons or equipment on behalf of a foreign government.

“We’re looking forward to FMS sales but there aren’t many FMS sales that would involve 29 aircraft in a single year,” he said. “The U.S. Navy is unique in its position.”

While Navy officials and the Pentagon’s top weapons buyer have signaled they’re looking for ways to preserve the deal, the situation has spooked defense contractors and their suppliers.

“Industry and the government are going to be put into a very tough position about making those long-term cost-savings and investments, when the threat of cancellation becomes more predictable,” Healy said. “As a taxpayer, I fear the government is not going to get those cost-savings going forward if there’s not the confidence in the industry that the multi-year contracts will be followed through on.”

Via Valerie I.
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