The Indian MoD’s Defence Acquisition Council tonight cleared the procurement of an estimated 145 Kamov KA-226T light utility helicopters favouring the Russian chopper over its Airbus rival.
The meeting, chaired by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar took a call on the long pending helicopter procurement, intended to replace the ageing fleet of utility helicopters with the Indian army and air force.
Russian Helicopters has offered to make its latest helicopter in India and the offer had been made during the visit of President Putin to New Delhi last December.
The plan is to make the helicopters initially for the Indian armed forces but later on offer it for the export market. The number of helicopters to be manufactured in India could exceed 500 in the medium term if the Indo-Russian joint venture guns for the export market.
The KA-226T is an ultra-modern chopper which can be configured as a troop carrier, an air ambulance, a cargo carrier and even an attack helicopter.