Russia is yet to find an Indian partner for the production of Ka-226T helicopters months after Russian Helicopters was chosen to supply choppers to the Indian defence forces by manufacturing in Indian together with a local partner.
Rosoboronexport head, Anatoly Isaikin was quoted as saying Tuesday by Ria Novosti Tuesday that India is inclined to buying Ka-226 and Russia is ready to help them. "According to the results of the tender, the Indian side is interested to purchase helicopters Ka-226 and to establish their own production. The Russian side is ready for the transfer of technology in India," Anatoly said.
The Indian Defense Acquisition Council (DAC) chose Russian Helicopters for the procurement of 145 Kamov Ka-226T light utility helicopters over Airbus helicopters on May 13, 2015. However, till date no talks have commenced with any potential partner, sources told Defenseworld.net.
Moscow had offered the helicopter to New Delhi during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to India in December last year. Indian MoD had decided on buying LUH only through competition from domestic vendors in a virtual rejection of any government-to-government helicopter production deal.
Earlier, it was reported that state-run Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) could be a front runner for the helicopter partnership. “The state-run HAL is a front-runner for partnering with Russia for the Kamov Ka-226T helicopter project,” Sergey Chemezov, Rostec CEO on the sidelines of Moscow Aviation and Space Salon (MAKS), 2015 had said.
India can manufacture 160 of 200 Kamov Ka-226T Light Utility Helicopters (LUH) meant to replace Cheetah and Chetak choppers with the rest 40 being made in Russia.
“Under the agreement reached between Russia and India on manufacturing 200 KA-226T helicopters, New Delhi will be free to build and export the aircraft to other countries,” Chemezov had said.
There were talks that apart from HAL, an Indian industrial group was also interested in partnering with Russian Helicopters. However, the group's apparent lack of expertise in the manufacture of helicopters or any other aviation product for that matter is reported to a dampener in the exercise.