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Kamov Ka-226T helicopters production in India: Issues related to indigenous content expected to be resolved soon

Kamov, KA 226T, Kamov 226T, indian Army, indian air force, HAL, defence expo, Def Expo 2020, def expo, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, defeexpoThis is a light-weight utility helicopter and features a coaxial twin-rotor system. (Image: Rosoboronexport)

For the localisation of 200 Kamov Ka-226T helicopters production in India, Indo-Russian Helicopters Limited (IRHL) and Russian Helicopters Holding Company (part of Rostec State Corporation) have signed a roadmap today. The roadmap consistent with the corporate outlines the most stages and terms for organizing production of the Ka-226T helicopter and its units in India with reference to the date when the corresponding contract is going to be signed.

It also reflects timelines for fixing production in India, contracting with suppliers, transferring design documentation, supplying technological equipment and machine kits, training Indian personnel and other key stages of the project to localize production of the Ka-226T helicopter in India. Director-General of Russian Helicopters company Andrei Boginsky said that “There are plans for further development of the Ka-226T localization project in India after the signing of the contract.”

More about Ka-226T

This is a light-weight utility helicopter and features a coaxial twin-rotor system. It has a maximum take-off weight of three .6 t, and it’s the power to move up to 1 t of payload. A transport cabin is installed on the helicopter and may transport up to six people or modules with special equipment. It is eco-friendly features, cost-effective, with advanced avionics and extra flight safety solutions make this helicopter one among the simplest models in its class.

Why the delay?

The venture between HAL and Russian Helicopters for 200 Kamov Ka-226T helicopters has been getting delayed thanks to the differences over the transfer of technology and indigenous content. Announced in December 2014 at the annual India-Russian annual summit, the Kamov Ka-226T helicopters deal is the first major ‘Make in India’ project. The inter-government agreement was inked in October 2016, and a production facility has been found out in Tumakuru, Bengaluru. However, since there was no clarity on the indigenous content within the helicopter the deal has been on hold for nearly four years now.

The twin-engined Kamov Ka-226T is predicted to exchange the single-engine Cheetah/Chetak for the utilization by the Indian army which has been trying to find light utility helicopters. These helicopters are expected to be used as a lifeline for soldiers posted at the world’s highest battlefield — Siachen Glacier. In the tender issued by the MoD it had been specified that there should be 70 per cent locally made equipment. However, the Russian side had not agreed to the present.

According to Nakkady Madayi Shrinat, CEO of Indo-Russian Helicopters Limited, “The MoD had sought clarity on the indigenous content within the helicopter. And, fresh details are submitted to the Ministry and therefore the issue is predicted to be resolved soon.”

Once the deal is confirmed the helicopter is going to be produced during a four-phase production programme in India and a complete of 35 helicopters are going to be produced in the first phase with only 3.3 per cent local components and 25 choppers in the second phase with 15 per cent indigenous content. In the third phase, 30 helicopters are going to be manufactured with 35 per cent of indigenous content.

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