Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) and the Ministry of Defence of Argentina on Thursday signed a letter of intent (LoI) on productive cooperation and acquisition of light and medium utility helicopters for the armed forces of the Argentine Republic.
The LoI was signed by Argentinian Defence Minister Jorge Taiana and C.B. Ananthakrishnan, CMD, HAL, in the presence of Francisco Cafiero, secretary of International Affairs, ambassador Hugo Javier Gobbi, and ambassador Dinesh Bhatia.
Mr. Taiana said the day was interesting and a step on the road to an evergrowing and strong collaboration with HAL.
Second South American country
This is the second time a South American country has expressed interest in HAL-manufactured helicopters. It can be recalled that Ecuador had procured seven advanced light helicopters (ALH) Dhruv in two batches — five in 2009 and two in 2011 — in a deal worth $45.2 million. However, following four crashes, Ecuador terminated the contract with HAL in October 2015. Apart from Ecuador, HAL has also exported ALH Dhruv to Mauritius and Maldives.
During the daylong programme, Mr. Taiana and his team viewed the flying display of various HAL products at HAL Airport. The defence PSU said that the Argentine team also paid a visit to Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, Helicopter Division, and evinced keen interest in HAL products.
Argentina is said to have evinced interest in LCA Tejas.
During Aero India earlier this year, Mr. Ananthakrishnan said that the PSU had made proposals for the sale of 15 Tejas aircraft to Argentina.