- Since the proposal is to procure helicopters to replace existing Mi-8 helicopters, the ORs should broadly conform to the parameteres of Mi-8 which was the most widely used VVIP chopper at that time (This meant the altitude ceiling of 4500 metres was acceptable to PMO since Mi-8's reach was only upto that altitude).
- Defence Secretary would convening a meeting with participation of IAF, SPG, Secretary (security) to draw up the operational specifications for the VVIP helicopters in light of the above.
- A single vendor situation should be avoided.
Meanwhile the MoD had put in place a new concept--the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP)--which lays down stringent rules and regulations. Under the DPP all companies that bid for contracts above 100 crore rupees have to sign an integrity pact which binds the companies to give an undertaking that no bribes would be paid or agents would be used in the contracts.
The Russian company that makes Mi-172 withdrew from the competition at an early stage refusing to sign the integrity contract!
That left AgustaWestland and Sikorsky in the race. By now this was late 2007.
The evaluations and trials of S-92 and AW101 began and continued over the next couple of years (2008-09). According to Air Force sources S-92 was found to be non-compliant on 4 counts:
1. It could not reach 15000 feet without maximum power
2. Its 'hover out off ground effect' wasn't sufficient
3. Its drift down altitude was not meeting the requiremt
4. Missile airborne warning system wasn't up to the mark
Agusta Westland with its three engines was a bonus, according Air Force test pilots since one engine failure still meant it had two to fall back upon.
Some time in 2009, Air HQ sent its recommendation to the Defence Ministry and after all going through the stringent financial and technical requirements mandatory under the DPP, a contract was signed in February 2010.