Russian Helicopters is waiting for the contract of 200 Ka-226T helicopters to be signed soon
Younis Ahmad Kaloo
Chennai: Addressing the media at DefExpo-2018 via teleconference on the status of the Joint Venture (JV) between Russia and India for the supply and localisation of Ka-226T helicopter production and plans for future cooperation with Indian partners, Director General Russian Helicopters, Andrey Boginskiy, said he is expecting the issuance of Request for Proposal (RFP) for 200 Ka-226T helicopters in the ‘nearest time’.
“As of today, we have formed a helicopter configuration, which is approved by the Indian side. 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,” said Boginskiy. He also said that Russian Helicopters has already developed a training programme for Indian pilots and will produce five simulators for this purpose. Out of five, four will be delivered to India and one will be placed at the facilities of Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant.
Under the inter-governmental agreement signed in 2016, 60 helicopters will be brought from Russia while the remaining 140 will be assembled in India at the facilities of the JV registered in May last year.
“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. At the same time, Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant is preparing at full speed its part of work - production of 60 Ka-226T helicopters for India,” said Boginskiy.
Russian Helicopters has also offered India to visit Kamov Design Bureau that developed Ka-226T to gain more insights into the ship-based version of the rotorcraft.
“Our colleagues shall be able to take part in a demonstration flight and to learn more about Ka-226T capable of being deployed aboard a ship. Placing an order for helicopters for the Indian Navy with our JV in India is benefiting both sides, therefore, we have decided to invite our partners to gain a more detailed familiarisation with this rotorcraft”, said the Director General of Russian Helicopters.
Pertinently, India approved a tender for the procurement of utility helicopters for its navy in November 2017. The Indian Navy is expected to use these platforms for search and rescue, humanitarian, monitoring and counter-terrorism operations.
The ship-based version of the light utility Ka-226T helicopter is distinct from its land-based version as it features a blade folding system of the main rotor and has the ‘state-of-the-art’ avionics suite with its components and systems fit for operation under aggressive conditions of marine environment. The helicopter has small dimensions and thus, can be deployed on ships and low-displacement vessels.
It is important to mention here that Russian Helicopters’ Kumertau Aviation Production Enterprise (KumAPE) has completed the contract of six ship-based Ka-226T rotorcraft by delivering another two units, which will shortly join the special-purpose state aviation fleet. The first handover comprising two Ka-226T was made in March 2017 while the second delivery of two more units took place in December 2017.
“The enterprise’s contractual obligations have been fulfilled in advance, and four rotorcraft delivered earlier are already inducted into the special-purpose aviation. Ka-226T has demonstrated an excellent performance in challenging sea conditions. I am sure that such experience will boost the demand for this helicopter both in Russia and abroad”, said Boginskiy.
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