Haryana to purchase ₹77 crore Airbus chopper for CM, governor
A high-powered purchase committee of the state government, after holding negotiations with Airbus Helicopters, Germany, have finalised the purchase of Airbus H145-D3.
A high-powered purchase committee of the state government, after holding negotiations with Airbus Helicopters, Germany, have finalised the purchase of Airbus H145-D3 – a twin-engine nine-seater chopper.
An official, who did not wish to be named, said, “Through negotiations, the committee was able to save around 3 lakh US Dollars, amounting to 3% of the offered base price. This includes sound proofing the chopper, installing strobe lights and making the cockpit night-vision goggle compatible free of cost.”
‘Existing copter too old, VVIP safety important’
The state government already has a 10-seater Beechcraft King Air 250, which was purchased in 2018 to facilitate VVIPs’ luxury travel. It had cost 62,50,000 US Dollars (around ₹40 crore at the time).
Justifying the acquisition of the latest flying machine, officials said a helicopter (Eurocopter EC-145), which was purchased in 2008-09, has a high-maintenance cost and was frequently grounded. Therefore, a new twin-engine helicopter for VVIPs was sought as a replacement and global bid was floated in December 2021.
The pre-bid meeting was attended by the three original equipment manufacturers – Airbus Helicopters (Germany), Leonardo SpA (Italy) and Bell Textron Aviation ( US). A single bid was received on the due date of tender submission on March 22 from Airbus Helicopters.
“In view of ageing and frequent grounding of the existing helicopter and keeping in mind the safety of VVIPs, the offer given by Airbus Helicopters was taken up for evaluation by the civil aviation department. A state delegation will also visit the Airbus manufacturing facility after the formal purchase order is placed,” the official said.
To be delivered in 15 months
Airbus has agreed that the helicopter will be delivered in 15 months from the date of signing the purchase agreement. The company will also keep the state government informed about helicopters with similar configuration that are available for sale with a shorter delivery time.
Airbus has also agreed to provide free-of-cost support to the state government for finding a buyer for the Eurocopter EC 145, if the state government wanted to dispose it off. The Eurocopter EC-145 was purchased during Congress’ rule for 5.5 million euros (around ₹33 crore at the time).