India to buy 60 digitally designed Kamov-226T helicopters from Russia

Nayanima Basu Tomilino (Moscow) | Updated on January 09, 2018

India to buy 60 multirole military copters

The 200 Russian light helicopter Kamov-226T, or Ka-226T, will now be built completely using digital technology as part of the pilot project being run by its maker, Russian Helicopters, which is part of the Rostec State Corporation.

“Project Ka-226T is the first experience for holding enterprises to create a new helicopter modification by using only software. Digitalisation has reduced the machine development time, and, through the creation of 3-D models, has improved the accuracy of the component parts and units of the helicopter development.

“ That has helped to create a modern and high-quality machine, cumulative performance and other characteristics substantially superior to its western counterparts,” said Andrey Boginsky, CEO, Russian Helicopters.

Deal with Russia

In a deal worth around $1 billion, India and Russia had signed an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) earlier this year, under which New Delhi will buy 60 choppers off the shelf – 40 will be assembled in India and the remaining 100 will be fully built in India – under a proposed JV with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL).

Hence, the choppers that India will buy will be digitally designed. The full set of design documentation will now be brought on to the online platform, including digital models of parts and assemblies, as well as three-dimensional models of completed helicopters.

Under the terms of the JV between India and Russia, the Russian firm will be responsible for the localisation of helicopter production, except for the foreign-made products, such as the engine, which is made by the French aviation giant Safran.

While Russia is committed to the transfer of technologies, it remains to be seen whether India and all other clients of Kamov choppers will be able to access this newly established digital platform.

“This design documentation is being used as a basis for the production, engineering and documentation that will be used in the production. So within the framework of the JV, only the production documentation will be transferred on how to produce the helicopters,” said Dmitry Shvets, Ka-226T Helicopter Programme Director.

Shvets said for India to access the design documentation a new agreement will be signed under the terms of technology transfer.

“It can be transferred if the customer expresses interest to access it,” Shvets added.

While the commercial contract is yet to be signed, under the terms of the JV, Russian Helicopter will hold 49.5 per cent and HAL a 50.5 per cent stake.

The JV will create repair and maintenance facilities within five years and facilities for the overhaul of helicopters in the foreign client’s country within seven years after the delivery of the first batch of helicopters.

The Ka-226T helicopter boasts a modular design and can be delivered in a variety of modifications. While India will buy the multirole military version, it also comes in passenger and transport model.

(The writer is in Moscow at the invitation of Russian Helicopters)

Published on December 01, 2017

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