Has The Russian Ka-226T Forged Ahead In The Indian Army Helicopter Competition?

  • 12:00 AM, February 22, 2012
  • 3699
Eurocopter's recent letter to the Indian Army Chief of Staff complaining of delay in announcing a winner in the Indian Army 197 helicopter tender, has to be seen in the backdrop of its Russian competitor's emerging confidence in bagging the deal. The Ka-226T helicopter, being sold internationally by Rosoboronexport, has emerged as a dark horse in the competition meeting most of the requirements of the tender, sources told Defenseworld.net. Separately, the Russian company has claimed that the Ka-226T showed itself excellently during the evaluation trials conducted within the tender earlier in India. "These tests clearly demonstrated that the Ka-226T had embodied the best Kamov design school achievements such as modularity, easy piloting technique, low vibration, high reliability, flight safety and low maintenance". Rosoboronexport has posted a release stating that the high level of survivability of the Ka-226T is because of two Turbomeca Arrius 2G1 engines. Even with one of its engines damaged or failed, the helicopter will be able to continue flying with one of them. The Ka-226T has a twin rotor system which increases its climb rate and hover ceiling. In contrast, the Eurocopter AS 550 C3 Fennec is a single engine, single rotor helicopter whose performance characteristics cannot be compared with a twin engine, twin rotor helicopter. There have been some reports that the Eurocopter was not put through its high altitude tests for reasons that India did not have a test helipad at the required altitudes.
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