India’s defense ministry has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to procure and co-produce 200 Russian Kamov Ka-226T helicopters for the country’s army and air force, estimated to cost INR 21,000 Crore (US$3 billion), Economic Times reports.
“The RFP for the 200 Kamov helicopters was signed and given a week ago to Russian Helicopters. This is a milestone in the process of procuring them,” an official was quoted as saying Wednesday.
Officials explained that the RFP was worked out in consultation with the joint venture setup between Russian Helicopters and Indian defence PSU, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). According to the RFP, the procurement of 200 helicopters entails 135 for the army and 65 for the IAF. The Kamov helicopters will replace the ageing Cheetah helicopters.
Andrey Boginskiy, Director General of Russian Helicopters Holding Company, had told reporters during the Defexpo-2018 held in Chennai last month that the contract is likely to be signed by the end of this year.
A facility to manufacture KA-226T helicopters in India was formed last year called Indo Russian Helicopter Pvt. Ltd. (IRHL), which will be located at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)’s proposed helicopter plant in Tumakuru near Bangalore, South India.
IRHL is expected to fulfill a requirement for over 200 utility helicopters for the Indian armed forces. Besides, under the terms of an Indo-Russian agreement, the KA-226T helicopters manufactured in India would also be exported to third countries.
The Ka-226T light multirole helicopter with a coaxial rotor system has a maximum takeoff weight of 3.4 tonnes and is capable of carrying up to 1.5 tonnes of cargoes or up to seven passengers to a distance of 600 km.