Economy

Russia hopeful of signing deal for Kamov choppers with India soon

Nayanima Basu Chennai | Updated on April 12, 2018 Published on April 12, 2018

Russian Helicopters, the maker of Kamov-226T military chopper, is hopeful that the commercial contract to sell helicopters to India may be signed soon even as the request for proposal (RFP) is yet to be issued by the Defence Ministry.

“In the nearest time, the Russian side is expecting the issue of the RFP for 200 helicopters, and it means that we have come very close to entering into the contract,” Andrey Boginsky, CEO, Russian Helicopters, told BusinessLine on the sidelines of DefExpo 2018.

Russia aims to deliver 200 Kamov 226T or Ka-226T military choppers to India in the next nine years. According to the original plan, the commercial contract was expected to be signed last year. The inter-governmental agreement was signed in 2015 during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Moscow.

Thereafter, the joint venture was registered June 2017 between Russian Helicopters, a division of Rostec Corporation, and Hindustan Aeronautics.

Purchase programme

Under the programme, India will be procuring 60 light utility helicopters in flyaway condition that will be produced in the Ulan-Ude plant of Russian Helicopters, while 40 will be assembled in the proposed plant set up by the joint venture, while the remaining 100 will be completely made in India.

“At least 140 helicopters will be assembled at the facilities of the joint venture with a gradual increase of the localization level. At first, components and technologies will be transferred and the provisions will be made for the organisation of production in India, then production of components from the supplied materials and assembly of helicopters will begin, and, finally, complete assembly of the helicopters will be organised,” Boginsky added.

He also said first components and technologies will be transferred and the provisions will be made for the organisation of production in India, then production of components from the supplied materials and assembly of helicopters will begin, and, finally, complete assembly of the helicopters will be organised.

“At the same time Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant is preparing at full speed to its part of work — production of 60 Ka-226T helicopters for India,” he said. Ka-226T is a light multi-purpose, twin-engine helicopter based on the Ka-226 designed by Kamov Design Bureau. It has superior manoeuvring capabilities in cities and mountainous areas, and allows a number of payload configurations and requires less landing space.

Boginsky also said that Russian Helicopters has already developed a training programme for Indian pilots, for this purpose five simulators will be produced. “We are going to place one of them at the facilities of Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant and deliver four of them to India.”

“The project in full compliance with ‘Make in India’ policy and will ensure the loading and future development of the joint venture. It also has obvious economic advantages - the Indian side may make more profit from the investments in the JV, support the local producer and significantly save funds, as it will be substantially less expensive to perform maintenance of one-type helicopter fleet and train personnel,” Boginsky said.

Published on April 12, 2018
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