From the Guardian, 16/07 The first of Sikorsky's three offers to the MoD, defence industry sources reveal, came in 2007. Sixty Black Hawk UH60 "L model" aircraft were offered. Under the deal, which included the training of British aircrews, nearly half would have been delivered "straight off the assembly line" during 2008, with the remainder by the end of this year. The total cost, at the then-favourable pound-dollar exchange rate, would have been roughly Â£480m. A second Sikorsky offer was lodged last year following an approach by the government. This would have involved delivery of 12 Black Hawk S70Is with six to have been delivered in 2011 and the remainder in 2012. Last month, after Davies revealed the government was engaged in an "11th-hour" reassessment of whether to go ahead with refitting the Puma, MoD officials asked Sikorsky for a further bid. It proposed supplying 60 of the latest M-model Black Hawks, the first five of them next year, a further 13 in 2011 and the remainder in "staggered deliveries" by the end of 2013. The firm received the rejection letter from Davies last week. The MoD said last night that rejecting the Puma refit for a new aircraft would have worsened the helicopter shortage in Helmand. A spokesman said cancelling Puma would lead "to a capability gap placing unacceptable risk on operational commitments". In response to Sikorsky's 2007 offer, he said that the MoD was already signed up to buying 62 new "Future Lynx" helicopters, from the UK-Italian company AgustaWestland. They are not due to enter service until 2014 and will cost around Â£1bn. American - proven product - 8 mill a pop. New Mi-17, about the same. British, 17 mil a pop. Who are we kidding? And they spent over 300 mill patching up the f*cking Pumas!!!! I can't believe we're going through this, after all the history of SABR and FASH. So what's smart procurement all about if this is the way we buy kit?