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Bond Aviation, Bristow, CHC Helicopters Make U.K. SAR Shortlist

Bond Aviation Group, Bristow Helicopters, and CHC Helicopter Corp. units have been shortlisted to compete for a 3.1 billion-pound ($5 billion) U.K. government search-and-rescue helicopter program.

The winning bidder is going to be named in early 2013, the Department for Transport, which is running the competition for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, said in a statement.

The winner will provide about 20 to 25 helicopters under a 10-year service provision contract to provide search-and-rescue services across the U.K. and within 250 nautical miles offshore. United Technologies Corp.’s Sikorsky unit, Eurocopter, the helicopter maker of Toulouse-based European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co., and Finmeccanica SpA’s AgustaWestland are hoping to secure sales as part of the contract.

The effort comes after a previous search-and-rescue program -- the 6 billion-pound SAR-H program -- was canceled in February 2011 over contracting irregularities. CHC Helicopters operating Sikorsky’s S-92 helicopter was the winning bidder.

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