Monday, September 3, 2012

Malta seeks Alouette replacement deal

Malta is interested in replacing its armed forces inventory of three Aerospatiale SA316 Alouette III helicopters, according to a contract solicitation released by the E.U. on Aug. 30th. The Maltese government hopes to acquire up to three new aircraft, which will be primarily required to perform border control missions, using money from the E.U.'s External Borders Fund (EBF) programme.

An initial deal to order one aircraft this year is outlined, with this to be "subject to availability of funds from the European Borders Fund programme 2012". An option for a second helicopter to be ordered in an identical configuration would also be contingent on securing EBF funds the following year, the notice says.

Valletta will also consider acquiring another identical aircraft from the same funding route in 2014, with its request noting: "bidders have to guarantee the supply of the third helicopter until the year 2015 with a justifiable and reasonable price escalation not exceeding 5%".

Potential suppliers are due to respond to the request by 30 October, with Malta also seeking associated training services and potentially an in-service support package for the new type. (Source: