New Delhi: In what could give a major boost to Make in India and a leg up to India’s defence exports Russian made Kamov Ka-226T military helicopters assembled in India could be exported to third countries in future.
Under the Indo-Russian bilateral deal for 200 Kamov helicopters the first 60 will be manufactured in Russia & delivered to India and the remaining 140 will be assembled in India. Subsequently plans are in pipeline for additional Kamov helicopters in India and export to third countries, according to senior officials.
A Indo-Russian joint venture has been set up to implement the project of the Ka-226T production in India. Further on, the JV will decide on the rate of production and the volume of deliveries and will look for new clients, officials indicated.
‘We have an order for 200 helicopters: the first 60 rotocraft will be manufactured in Russia and the subsequent 140 will be assembled in India at an increasing rate of local production. Further on, the sides may make a decision that the Ka-226Ts may be also assembled in India for third countries,” Rostec Corporation Director for International Cooperation and Regional Policy Viktor Kladov was quoted as saying by Russian news agency TASS earlier this week.
“The joint venture has no limitations. They have a firm order from the Indian government but after fulfilling it they may supply these products to third countries and I hope that the market will be good, interesting and big,” Kladov said.
The Indo-Russian agreement on cooperation in helicopter production was signed in 2015. In October 2016, the sides signed an agreement on establishing a joint venture on the Ka-226T production.
The Russian-Indian joint venture on the production of Ka-226T helicopters was established in India in May 2017. The JV was founded by India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Russian Helicopters Group and Russia’s state arms seller Rosoboronexport.
India and Russia are working on Request for Proposal (RFP) for Kamov helicopters. About a week ago, a meeting was held between India and Russia for the RFP. The RFP is likely to be issued within three to four months with deliberations between the army, IAF and MOD.
The Indian army will get about 130 to 140 of these helicopters to replace its ageing Cheetahs, while the Indian Air Force will get the remaining. Russia is also planning to build a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) plant for the Kamov helicopters in India.
The Indo-Russian Inter Governmental Agreement also mentions that the helicopters will be exported from India to third countries. “But this will only happen after the first 200 helicopters are delivered to India. So it will take another eight to nine years to be able to export these platforms,” explained officials.
Recently in what was a shot in arm for BrahMos jointly developed by India and Russia – Brazil, Kazakhstan and Indonesia showed interest to buy the missiles at the Dubai air show.
The interest has primarily been in the air version of the Brahmos missile. The agreement between India and Russia for development of the advanced BrahMos system allows the use of the missile in both countries’ armed forces and export to other friendly countries. And on Wednesday the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was tested onboard Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Sukhoi 30-MKI aircraft off the Bay of Bengal.