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Singapore - 3 Firms Shortlisted To Supply New Choppers (12 Aug 2003)

After a three-year search for its first ship-borne helicopters, the Singapore Navy has narrowed the field to three companies. These companies will be invited to Singapore later this month to give their best offers for submission. The contract will be up to eight helicopters.

The final three choppers to be reviewed are a modified model of the SH-70(N) Sea Hawk from United Technologies (UTC), from the United States; the NH-90 from European group NHIndustries and the Cougar, from Eurocopter which is based in France.

The selected helicopters will be the first in the Singapore Armed Forces to be armed with anti-ship missiles and deployed on warships. They will carry both anti-submarine torpedoes and anti-ship missiles.

The Navy ordered six 110-metre stealth frigates from France in 2000. The first frigate will be delivered in 2005 and a helicopter will be carried by each of them.

Two more helicopters will be needed for shore-based training and for replacement choppers when others need maintenance.

Once the companies have submitted their offers, the bids will be examined by the Defence Science & Technology Agency. The whole process will be completed by early next year with the selected chopper announced.