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IndiaIndia-Russia joint venture to end Army, IAF helicopter handicap

India-Russia joint venture to end Army, IAF helicopter handicap

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The Kamov-226T, a twin-engine helicopter, born out of Russian engineering and French engine power, is the chosen platform. The project, said to cost nearly $1 billion will be the first major venture under government's ‘Make in ' programme.

In what is being seen as an important milestone in addressing a long-awaited requirement of the armed forces, India and Russia inked a joint venture to manufacture 200 helicopters in India for the Indian Army and Indian Air Force (IAF). This was done on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit in Goa where India and Russia held their annual, bilateral summit.

KAMOV 226T PART OF MAKE IN INDIA

The Kamov-226T, a twin-engine helicopter, born out of Russian engineering and French engine power, is the chosen platform. The project, said to cost nearly $1 billion will be the first major defence venture under government's ‘Make in India' programme. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and senior ministry officials were present.

Following up on an inter-government agreement on ‘Cooperation in the field of Helicopter Engineering' signed in Moscow during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit last December, a firm ‘Indo-Russian Helicopters Private Limited' will be created to execute the task. The firm will see the Russian governmentowned Rostec corporation having a 49.5 per cent stake and Defence Ministry's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) with a 50.5 per cent stake.

MANUFACTURING TO TAKE PLACE AT TUMKUR

“The manufacturing will take place either at HAL's helicopter complex in Bengaluru or the upcoming facility near Bengaluru at a place called Tumkuru,” said an official. While about 40 helicopters will be procured “off the shelf” from the original maker of the Kamov-226T, Russian Helicopters, the remaining will be made in India over a period of eight to 10 years. “Apart from production, the plan also includes setting up repair and maintenance facilities to provide faster support to the armed forces,” said an official.

It isn't unusual for the armed forces to red-flag the poor maintenance support extended by their Russian suppliers

REQUIREMENT: 400 HELICOPTERS

Explaining the origin of the deal, Air Vice Marshal Manmohan Bahadur (retd), himself an accomplished helicopter pilot, said: “Among the three defence services and the Coast Guard, there is a requirement of about 400 helicopters. That initial procurement of 400 choppers has now been broken up into two wherein we induct 200 Kamov-226Ts and 200 Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) which the HAL is designing and building.”

India Russia joint venture to manufacture 200 helicopters

Highlights

  • 1
    India and Russia inked a joint venture to manufacture 200 helicopters in India.
  • 2
    First major defence venture under govt's ‘Make in India' programme.
  • 3
    Kamov-226T and LUH will together replace the Cheetah and Chetak helicopters.

In what is being seen as an important milestone in addressing a long-awaited requirement of the armed forces, India and Russia inked a joint venture to manufacture 200 helicopters in India for the Indian Army and Indian Air Force (IAF). This was done on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit in Goa where India and Russia held their annual, bilateral summit.

KAMOV 226T PART OF MAKE IN INDIA

The Kamov-226T, a twin-engine helicopter, born out of Russian engineering and French engine power, is the chosen platform. The project, said to cost nearly $1 billion will be the first major defence venture under government's ‘Make in India' programme. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and senior ministry officials were present.

Following up on an inter-government agreement on ‘Cooperation in the field of Helicopter Engineering' signed in Moscow during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit last December, a firm ‘Indo-Russian Helicopters Private Limited' will be created to execute the task. The firm will see the Russian governmentowned Rostec corporation having a 49.5 per cent stake and Defence Ministry's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) with a 50.5 per cent stake.


MANUFACTURING TO TAKE PLACE AT TUMKUR

“The manufacturing will take place either at HAL's helicopter complex in Bengaluru or the upcoming facility near Bengaluru at a place called Tumkuru,” said an official. While about 40 helicopters will be procured “off the shelf” from the original maker of the Kamov-226T, Russian Helicopters, the remaining will be made in India over a period of eight to 10 years. “Apart from production, the plan also includes setting up repair and maintenance facilities to provide faster support to the armed forces,” said an official.

It isn't unusual for the armed forces to red-flag the poor maintenance support extended by their Russian suppliers

REQUIREMENT: 400 HELICOPTERS

Explaining the origin of the deal, Air Vice Marshal Manmohan Bahadur (retd), himself an accomplished helicopter pilot, said: “Among the three defence services and the Coast Guard, there is a requirement of about 400 helicopters. That initial procurement of 400 choppers has now been broken up into two wherein we induct 200 Kamov-226Ts and 200 Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) which the HAL is designing and building.”

CHEETAH, CHETAK TO BE REPLACED

Over the next decade, it is expected that the Kamov-226T and LUH will together replace the Cheetah and Chetak helicopters which are of French origin but were subsequently made in India by the HAL. The Cheetah and Chetak are used not for combat role but logistics, evacuation and related tasks especially at high-altitude locations. Interestingly, even though Indian armed forces operate hundreds of Russian helicopters like the Mi8, Mi17 1V, Mi17 V5, Kamov 28, Kamov 31, never have the Russians allowed their manufacturing in India. “This is the first time that is taking place. We will have to see how this move pans out and what benefits accrue to us. We have had a long association with the French helicopters. However, this choice of the Kamov-226T represents to me a larger strategic choice India has made to balance our ties with Russia,” said Bahadur.

Northlines
Northlines
The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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