India has finalized the roadmap with Russia to co-produce 200 Kamov Ka 226T light Utility helicopters under $1 billion deal in the South Asian country.
Russia’s Rostec Corp. will own a 49.5 percent stake in the new entity, and India's HAL will own the remaining 50.5 percent. Thereafter, the Indian Ministry of Defence will issue a single-vendor tender to Indo-Russian Helicopters, which will then submit its technical and commercial proposal within six months.
The move would initiate the $1 billion program. "With the road map now in place, the production of Kamov 226T helicopters has formally taken off," said a top executive of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), DefenseNews reported Thursday.
"The helicopters are to be produced through a joint venture company as per the intergovernment agreement between the two countries in October 2016, and the road map for the acquisition is finalized.” Gopal Sutar, the chief of media communications at HAL, said.
The move for joint production in India currently awaits formal approval by Russian President Vladimir Putin. His approval leads to the new production entity Indo-Russian Helicopters.
However, the price of the helicopter remains an concern, few anaysts said. The issue will be sorted out in the technical and commercial proposal, the top HAL executive said.
"I am more than sure that the agreement would also have indicated the price and other financial details, including share holdings in the joint venture," a defense analyst and retired Indian Air Force air marshal, said.
Under the $1 billion deal for 200 Kamov Ka-226Ts, India will buy 60 helicopters in fly-away condition from Russia while another 40 will be assembled in India and the remaining 100 fully built in India.
The manufacturing will take place in Southern part of India at a new complex in Tumkur near HAL's Bangalore helicopter complex.
"Apart from production, the plan also includes setting up repair and maintenance facilities to provide faster support to the armed forces," the HAL executive said.