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India & Russia will jointly manufacture Ka-226T helicopters
November 17, 2017
Kamov Ka-226T. Photo credit: Russian Helicopters

India & Russia will jointly manufacture Ka-226T helicopters

On 15 October, New Delhi and Moscow agreed to establish a joint-venture in India to co-produce Kamov Ka-226T light utility helicopters for the Indian Army and Indian Air Force (IAF).

The principal vendors will be Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Russian Helicopters, which will jointly own the Kamov production site (at 50.5% and 49.5%, respectively).

Of the 200 helicopters, India will procure, 60 of them will be procured directly from Russia, 40 will be assembled in India, and 100 will be manufactured in India. India will also host a maintenance, repair, and overhaul facility for the Ka-226T. The Ka-226Ts will replace aging Cheetah and Chetak units.

Notes & Comments:

The Government of India’s selection of HAL is interesting considering that HAL is directly responsible for the development of the domestically developed Light Utility Helicopter (LUH), which is envisaged to also phase out aging lightweight utility helicopters in use in India’s defence and civilian markets.

The Indian Army and IAF had required 200 helicopters to replace their aging Cheetah and Chetak units, and the recent Ka-226T order should aptly fulfill that requirement. Unless India’s defence requirements are expanded, the Kamov order essentially precludes the LUH from the domestic defence market, which – at least from the perspective of being a firm order – was the largest single source for scale.

In effect, the LUH’s hope for scale is now largely dependent on the civilian market (though the prospect of a large civil services order should not be dismissed). The space for prospective European vendors in India’s lightweight utility helicopter market, such as Airbus Helicopters, is also unclear considering now that there are now two strong state-backed entrants (i.e. Ka-226T and HAL LUH).

  • HARSH V ADITYA ( EX ECHELON 4)

    Absolutely wrong…..the requirement of light utility helicopters of army and air force individually were 197 and 184. Plus navy and coastguard will also procure about 60 odd units. LUH is 3 yrs away from entering production so this deal was done.
    Also the ka-226 is a modular helicopter which makes it unique. Different compartments for different purpose. Best for mini-air ambulance role and has impressive flight ceiling to be used in siachen.

  • MT

    Ka-226Ts is urgent need as stop gap measure until LUH is mass produced which will be around 2020.
    HAL may be able to replicate some of Kamov design in future Light & medium helicopter variant.
    Partial Manufacturing/deep assembly of Kamov will be blessing in long term as they will start relying on local Indian defence industries. Such JV will not stop with kamov. Very likely to See Sukhoi/Irkut start assembly of su30 MKI components/major parts with Tata in next 2-3 yrs!

    HAL joining Kamov project is not healthy sign for indian pvt sector. Tata,L&T or Mahindra would have been preferred candidate but HAL has monopoly of scale & manpower to give the best offer hence Make in India was impacted.

    For time being, Govt should take serious steps to list HAL as public company on Bombay stock.
    The mediocrity, lack of corporate culture, professional ethics and almost little accountability in HAL is biggest threat to Indian aeronautical industry

  • AMAN

    Bilal Bhaijan new article please !!!

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