Indonesia appears to have rekindled its interest in acquiring AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters, despite a presidential decision late last year to reject an order for VVIP-roled examples.

But Daniele Romiti, chief executive of Finmeccania Helicopters, says Jakarta still has "strong interest in the AW101".

Discussions over a potential purchase are ongoing, he told a media briefing at the Singapore air show.

Indonesia is interested in a combat search and rescue variant of the three-engined rotorcraft, with a similar configuration to the Italian air force's new HH-101 Caesar model.

If the Anglo-Italian manufacturer manages to secure the order, it will be a substantial about-turn for the country. In November 2015 the Indonesian air force indicated a willingness to buy three of the 15.6t AW101s for VVIP transport missions. However, the following month president Joko Widodo axed the deal on cost grounds.

Meanwhile, discussions continue with the administration in the Philippines over the acquisition of two AW159s for its navy under a Ps5.4 billion ($113 million) requirement for anti-submarine warfare helicopters.

The UK-built rotorcraft is Manilla’s preferred candidate for the deal and it is conducting evaluations of the type.

Get all the latest news, analysis and opinions fromSingapore Airshow on our dedicated show page