Russia to Supply a Batch of KA-31 AEW Helicopters to India

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Russia has received a request from India to supply a batch of KA-31 airborne early warning (AEW) helicopters which would likely be based on the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC).

“Recently received an appeal for an additional supply of Ka-31 marine helicopters,” Director of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSVTS) of Russia Dmitry Shugaev in an interview with Interfax Monday.

The KA-31 is a unique AEW helicopter with a collapsible under-body radar. It is helicopter is designed for protection of warship units operating beyond coastal radars and ERW (Early Radar Warning) aircrafts coverage against air strikes. It provides detection of low-level targets and ground- or sea-back-grounded aerial and surface targets and automatic reporting to ground and shipborne control posts or air defense systems.

The Indian Defence Ministry’s acquisition council had approved an INR 3,600 Crore ( $520 million) deal for 10 Kamov Ka-31 helicopters with Russia to strengthen its capability against aerial threats to its aircraft carriers and large warships, it was reported on May 2019 .

The Ka-31 carries a rotating radar that is stowed below its fuselage when not in use. The Ka-31 uses the ‘Oko’ radar system, which can detect aerial targets up to a distance of 200km away. The Oko radar is also capable of scanning for targets on the surface of the sea or on land.

The KA-31 offered for sale by Russian Helicopters has foldable wings to enable it to be stowed in tight spaces like on the deck of a ship or aircraft carrier.