Five Firms Seen Bidding in Turk Helicopter Tender

ISTANBUL (Reuters)–Five companies are expected to compete in a $3.5 billion tender to build 145 attack helicopters for Turkey–the state-run Anatolian news agency said on Monday.

The bidders are likely to be McDonnell Douglas Corp–Bell Helicopter Textron Inc–Augusta–Russia’s maker of Mi-24 and Mi-28s and Eurocopter–a joint venture between Daimler-Benz Aerospace AG and France’s state-owned Aerospatiale.

The agency reported US defense sources as saying that United Technologies Corp ‘s Sikorsky Aircraft Corp had withdrawn from the tender for the first 50 helicopters–which closes at the end of December.

Turkey’s defense industry directorate will evaluate the bids by the end of April and reduce the number of bidders to two or three. The shortlist will be sent to Turkish Aerospace Industries in July–which will hold talks with the companies until the end of 1998.

The winner of the tender will be announced around the start of 1999–the agency said.

Separately–Sikorsky is in the final stages of talks on selling four Sea Hawk helicopters to Turkey–the agency said.

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