The Eurocopter EC725 Caracal (also named Super Cougar) is a long-range tactical transport helicopter developed to meet a French Air Force requirement for a specialist helicopter for Combat Search & Rescue operations.. It is a twin-engined aircraft and can carry up to 29 seated troops along with two crew, depending on customer configuration. The helicopter is marketed for troop transport, casualty evacuation, and combat search and rescue duties.
According to Eurocopter, its EC725 is the most adaptable and cost-effective solution to respond to the requirement of the Indian Navy for a quickly deliverable Naval Multi Role Helicopter (NMRH). The proposed multi-role configuration provides maximum flexibility and utility for operations in the following mission scenarios: ASW, Special Operations, Commando Operations, Amphibious assault, Troop Carrier, External cargo carrying, Casualty evacuation.
The French firm Airbus and the Indian Private company Mahindra’s subsidiary Mahindra Defense Jointly Proposes EC 725 Caracal for Naval utility Helicopter Tender, Recently the Navy selects the American firm Sirkosky to supply 16+8 Naval multi role Helicopters to the Navy’s front line war Ship, who runs without proper heliborne SONAR or ASW crafts.
The Indian Navy operates nearly 40 of French made HAL built Chetaks helicopters for Naval multi role support, which is almost vintage as same as the Army operating, where that tender was again and again floated and canceled, they did that more than three times. the Same Navy also wants to replace those Chetak Helicopters from it’s fleet by inducting more advanced Naval utility Helicopters,
Back in the 2012, the Navy float a Tender to acquire 56 Naval Multirole Helicopters for nearly some $ 1 Billions, which is under direct sale through RFP ,but no Make in India and Tot will be added with that contract, and the DAC cancels the same tender by 2014, when the Coast Guard also raised flag by their aging Chetaks needed to be replaced, so DAC plans to float a Tender which can be replace all those Chetak helicopters from the Naval and Coast guard fleet, that numbers crosses more than Hundred, so it’s better to make a contract under Make in India program,
After PM went France and Airbus Industry, He were toured to the EC 725 Helicopter one of the largest Naval Utility Aircraft can also be used as a Troop transporter, basically good for Both naval and Air purpose, and the Airbus formally announces that they were interested to participate the Naval Utility Tender under Make in India Movement.
The Airbus Just released a note about the Joint venture of Airbus and Mahindra Defense that both were almost in Agreement level to initiate a Company in India to build Helicopters in India. both were not disclosed the amount of partnership. as per Airbus they says ” The joint venture will be dedicated to supplying the Indian Armed Forces with Made-in-India, state-of-the-art helicopters of high reliability, quality and safety standard based on combat-proven platforms.”
Airbus not only mentioned about the Naval Utility Helicopters,the also sounded about the canceled Army’s 197 LUH tender, and the Naval Multi role Helicopter, where the S 70 already selected over the Airbus NH 90.
Mahindra is also not a new to Aerospace sector, where they have more than 2,00,000 employees all over the world, and have a Aerospace facility in Australia, where one is used to produced medium planes, and they almost near to completion of their second unit in Bangalore. Mahindra designed four Planes, and one with NAL ( National Aerospace Limited ) for testing purpose, and in special, Mahindra Airvan has more than 210 units flying all over the world,
So both seems good in Track record, and if the JV went successful, both Navy and Army gets good number of Helicopters from Indian Market, with discounted price, The Navy expected to float the LUH Tender again by 2016, So it’s needed both will inaugurate the JV soon.
The EC 725 is a Good Helicopter can be used from Sea shores, with the Heavy in size, the Helicopter gets more than 900 kilometers, with the full load and speed of some 300 kilometers.It comes with two 12.7 mm Machine gun for close support and Anti piracy operations, also can launch two exocet Anti ship cruise missile for Anti Shipping mission.