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India, Russia JV to produce helicopters is still grounded

February 06
15:56 2020

Lucknow, Feb 6 (IANS) India and Russia joint venture to produce 220 Kamov Ka-226 T helicopters is moving at a snail’s pace.

The joint venture between Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Russian Helicopters announced in December 2014 to produce Kamov Ka-226 T helicopters on transfer of technology is stuck for almost four years.

The internal-government agreement was inked in October 2016. The joint venture company is known as Indo-Russian Helicopters Limited.

Indo-Russian Helicopters Limited, the joint venture entity, CEO Nakkady Madayi Shrinat told IANS at the DefExpo: “Ministry of Defence has sought clarity on the indigenous content in the helicopter. Now we have submitted fresh details regarding it. We are expecting the issue to resolved soon.”

The matter is expected to be taken in the next Defence Acquisition Council.

The production facility site was set up in Tumakuru in Karnataka but the joint venture is yet to kick start as Ministry of Defence is not convinced with the indigenous content in the helicopter.

According to the ministry, 70 per cent of Ka-226T helicopter should be indigenous. But Russia has not been on the same boat.

In December 2014, after months of deliberations, India and Russia agreed to manufacture the Ka-226T helicopter in India. In the contact of 200 helicopters, 60 will come under fly-away condition from Russia and remaining 140 will be built in India.

According to new arrangement the indigenous content has gone down from its original tender as it calculates around 40 per cent.

The helicopter has 74 per cent Russian content and 26 per cent European equipment including its engine produced by a French company.

He said the helicopter would be developed in four phases. Shrinat said that 35 helicopters will be produced in the first phase with only 3.3 per cent local components and 25 choppers in second phase with 15 per cent indigenous content. In third phase, 30 helicopters will be manufactured with 35 per cent indigenous content. In the fourth phase production programme in India, maximum indigenous content goes up 62.4 per cent in last phase of 50 helicopters.

He said that the contract is yet to inked. “Once the deal is signed and we are seeing that it will happen the first helicopter will be delivered in 36 months of signing of deal. At the moment we are working out the cost and other technological issues,” said Shrinath adding that now with the new arrangements the matter will be taken in the Defence Acquisition Council.

The twin-engined Kamov 226-T will replace the single-engine Cheetah and Chetak which was inducted in 1971.

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