India scrapped a $600 million deal with Eurocopter for 197 AS 550 Fennec light helicopters. Last February, the Indian Army chose the AS 550 to replace its large fleet of Cheetah and Cheetak light helicopters, in preference to the Bell 407. But the selection process was controversial, and Eurocopter was accused of illegal use of agents to influence the deal.
Small but noteworthy helicopter equipment manufacturers found a suitable showcase for their products at Helitech 2007 in Duxford, England, early last month. Big OEMs Agusta-Westland, Bell, Enstrom, Eurocopter, MD Helicopters, Robinson and Sikor- sky (along with accompanying subsidiary Schweizer) were either present or represented, and they had sales to announce.
Eurocopter logged orders for 114 civil and military helicopters worth E1.2 billion at this year’s Paris Air Show and says it is on track to sell 700 helicopters this year. This summer the company also logged more orders from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which bought eight additional American Eurocopter AS 350B3 AStars in July.
Eurocopter, already the world’s largest helicopter manufacturer, shows no signs that its meteoric sales pace will let up anytime soon.
Last year the company delivered 381 new helicopters worth more than $5 billion and booked orders for 615 helicopters with a combined value of $6.45 billion. Those figures represent a substantial increase from Eurocopter’s 2005 order book, valued at $4.64 billion.
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