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19 décembre 2013 4 19 /12 /décembre /2013 08:50
Norway to Sign €732M Contract for AW101 Helicopters on Dec. 19

Dec. 18, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Public Security; issued Dec. 4, 2013)


AgustaWestland Awarded Contract

AgustaWestland was on the 4th December awarded the contract for delivery of 16 new search and rescue helicopters to Norway. The contract will provide a significant strengthening of the public search and rescue service and ensure emergency readiness throughout the country.

“I am very pleased that we soon will be signing the contract with AgustaWestland. This will insure a significantly improved safety for people at sea, along the coast and in remote areas around the country,” says the Minister of Justice and Public Security, Anders Anundsen.

The new helicopters will be able to relieve significantly more people in distress, be noticeably faster and with longer range than today - under virtually all weather conditions. Additionally, search capability and the possibility for medical treatment are significantly improved.

AgustaWestland AW 101 is the candidate that in total, after intensive negotiations, best meets the demands for Norway's future SAR helicopter. On 7 November 2013 the Government gave the Ministry of Justice and Public Security the authorization to finalize the negotiation and sign the contract for the new rescue helicopter.

The acquisition process started on 21 October 2011 with the announcement of prequalification. Tender documents were released on12. July 2012 and the offers was received from four bidders on 18 December the same year. The intention is to sign the contract with AgustaWestland after the standstill period of fourteen days has expired.

Click here for the government’s mini-website on the SAR Helicopter project.

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3 septembre 2013 2 03 /09 /septembre /2013 11:50
Danish AW101s to get MX-15 sensor fit

Sep. 2, 2013 –by Craig Hoyle – FG


London - Denmark is to perform an equipment upgrade on some of its air force AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters, with the aircraft to be fitted with L-3 Wescam's MX-15 electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor.


Announced by the supplier on 2 September, Copenhagen's acquisition and sustainment contract will provide "a minimum of eight MX-15 imaging systems". Deliveries should conclude by 2014, it adds, with the new sensors to be installed by Denmark's Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organisation. Certification activities will be managed by AgustaWestland.


"The newly equipped AW101s will then be deployed to the Royal Danish Air Force's 722 Sqn in tactical troop transport operations, training exercises within Denmark and possible future use in mission theatres globally," L-3 Wescam says.


The Royal Danish Air Force operates 14 AW101s, which Flightglobal's Ascend Online Fleets database records as having been built between 2005 and 2009. Part of the service's fleet is tasked with providing search and rescue cover from its Karup air base, with these aircraft having been delivered with FLIR Systems Star Safire II EO/IR sensors.

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28 août 2013 3 28 /08 /août /2013 07:35
Indian Minister’s Statement Undermines AW101 Bribery Charges

India’s defense minister says that changes to the VIP helicopter RFP were approved and recommended, thereby undermining allegations that bribes were paid to secure them. (AW photo)


August 27, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Press Information Bureau India; issued August 26, 2013)


VIP Helicopter Deal


After issuance of Request For Proposal (RFP) for the procurement of 12 VVIP/VIP helicopters, certain changes, with the approval of the competent authority in terms of Defence Procurement Procedure-2006, have been made in technical requirements on the basis of the recommendation of the stakeholders to meet the requisite standards of operational safety and security.


The contract for procurement of 12 VVIP / VIP helicopters was signed with M/s Agusta Westland, U.K. on 8th February 2010. Three helicopters have so far been supplied by the vendor.


In view of allegations of irregularities in this procurement, Ministry of Defence has entrusted enquiry into the matter to CBI. The CBI, on conclusion of preliminary enquiry, registered a regular case on 12th March 2013 against 13 persons and 6 firms.


The CBI investigation is in progress. Further operation of the Contract has been put on hold.


This information was given by Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in a written reply to Dr. M. Thambidurai and others in Lok Sabha today.



(defense-aerospace.com EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a very surprising statement.

By saying that changes made to the helicopter RFP after it was issued were recommended by “stakeholders,” and that they also were approved by the “competent authority,” Antony clearly undermines the credibility of ongoing investigations by India’s Central Bureau of Investigation and by Italian magistrates.

These investigations have focused on persistent but as yet unproven allegations that changes to the RFP requirements were made surreptitiously and illegally to favour Agusta Westland’s AW101, in exchange for bribes paid to Indian officials.

No evidence has yet been discovered to bolster these allegations. Two former Indian air force commanders have been investigated and one charged in India. The CEOs of AgustaWestland and Finmeccanica, its corporate parent, were jailed in Italy and are now under trial.

If the Indian customer, in the person of Defense Minister A.K. Antony, now says the changes to the RFP were both approved and required for safety reasons, there is no longer any plausible reason for bribes to have been paid.

Yet, as Antony notes, the CBI’s preliminary enquiry did lead to its registering “a regular case on 12th March 2013 against 13 persons and 6 firms.”

Again, this is difficult to reconcile with the fact that the changes to the RFP were both approved and required on safety grounds.

Clearly, more explanations are needed. Until they are forthcoming, it probably is worth noting that the one person who comes across as a prudent steward of public funds and a guardian of public propriety in the above statement is, perhaps not coincidentally, Antony himself.)

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