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Bid to sell copters to Chile

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: India on Friday renewed its attempt to sell indigenously-made advanced light helicopters (ALH) to Chile during talks between visiting Defence Minister Jaime Ravinet and his counterpart Pranab Mukherjee, and later with Chief of the Air Staff S.P. Tyagi.

ALH is being manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) which is having Israel Aviation Industries (IAI) as its marketing partner since its capability in this area is weak. HAL recently sent four ALHs to Chile to take part in a global tender with IAI making the marketing pitch.

HAL officials acknowledged that though HAL is more than 50 years old, it struggled to export Rs. 60 crores annually and made a breakthrough in 2002-03 when HAL exports crossed Rs. 100. In the previous fiscal, exports crossed Rs. 215 crores. The company had already secured export orders worth $ 80 million from Airbus Industrie.

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