Russia is expecting a formal notification from the Indian government on its decision to launch Ka-226T cargo-transport helicopter project at the earliest, Sputnik reported Thursday.
We expect 200 aircraft to be manufactured in the initial phase, a formal notification from the Indian side is expected in the near future,” Alexander Mikheev, Russian Helicopters CEO was quoted as saying by the news website.
“This will be a new delivery design. This will be a program with production technology transfer in India and the project is yet to develop a technological or financial model,” he said, adding that the sides are looking into a public-private partnership.
Russian Helicopters is due to delvier a total of 244 helicopters to its customers this year.
The Indian MoD’s Defence Acquisition Council earlier this month cleared the procurement of an estimated 145 Kamov KA-226T light utility helicopters favouring the Russian chopper over its Airbus rival.
The Defense Acquisition Council meeting, chaired by Defense 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.
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.