01 March, 2021

The Blade Runners

A chopper deal, an ex-IAF chief, another defence scam busts out

The Blade Runners

Is it A Bird, Is It Bond?

The tale of IAF’s affair with the AgustaWestland chopper, one of which is seen in new James Bond flick, Skyfall.

  • 2000: IAF floats a ‘Request For Proposal’ with specific needs. After trials Eurocopter’s EC 225 emerges as the only qualifier.
  • 2003: The SPG objects to the choice of EC 225 due to its short cabin height (1.39 metres)
  • 2003: NSA Brajesh Mishra asks the IAF to invite more vendors and consult the SPG.
  • 2003: IAF redraws the specs, calls for helicopters able to fly at an altitude of 4,500 m with 1.80 m minimum cabin height.
  • 2005: Air Marshal S.P. Tyagi takes over as IAF chief.
  • 2006: Air HQ, MoD’s acquisition wing issue a fresh RFP based on the specs changed in 2003.
  • 2006: One vendor each from Russia, America and Italy responded to the RFP.
  • ...

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