India and Chile are poised to finalize plans for Chile’s purchase of an unspecified number of Advanced Light Helicopters (ALHs) built by Indian government-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL), a senior Defence Ministry official here said Oct. 26.
The news was divulged as Indian Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee began an official visit to Chile. The ALH sale contract will be signed during his visit.
Mukherjee is accompanied by a high-level delegation, including Vice Adm. Raman Puri, chief of India’s Integrated Defence Staff; HAL Chairman Ashok Baweja; Ordnance Factories Board Chairman P.K. Mishra; and Sivathanu Pillai, managing director of the BrahMos cruise missile project.
India last year offered to sell Chile its homegrown multi-utility helicopters, and a number of senior-level delegations from the two countries have visited each other to negotiate the purchase. HAL is marketing ALH jointly with Israel Aircraft Industries to the global market.
The ALH, which seats 13, is powered by two French Snecma TM-333B engines and has 55 percent foreign components. Sources in the Indian Defence Ministry said each ALH will be sold for around $5.4 million.
The Defence Ministry official said the sale of ALHs to Chile will open opportunities to sell the ALH to other Latin American countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Peru and Surinam.