India chooses Russian Helicopters’ Ka-226T

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In May 2015, India’s Defence Acquisition Council approved a major raft of deals on a non-tender basis for its armed forces, which included the Ka-226T light helicopter made by Russian Helicopters (part of State Corporation Rostec). Russian Helicopters is awaiting official communication from the Indian side regarding the deal.

The Council’s decision does not mean that a contract will be concluded immediately. Rosoboronexport, in partnership with Russian Helicopters will, on the Russian side, enact the contract for the delivery of helicopters under the “Make in India” programme, and the helicopters will be produced by Russian Helicopters’ Kumertau Aviation Production Enterprise.

“The light multirole Ka-226T performed well in tests carried out in India and is the optimum choice for India’s armed forces,” said Russian Helicopters CEO Alexander Mikheev. “The contract envisages the construction of a record number of Ka-226T helicopters, and will require considerable work and collaboration with Indian industry. It is important to note that Kumertau Aviation Production Enterprise will be crucial in fulfilling this order, as it will play the main role in enacting this project.”

The Ka-226T light helicopter, designed by the Kamov Design Bureau (a Russian Helicopters company) was certified in Russia in March this year. It had previously participated successfully in the Light Utility Helicopter tender announced by India’s Defence Ministry to renew its fleet of light helicopters, announced in 2003 and withdrawn last year. Tests on the Ka-226T amid India’s mountainous terrain and hot climate enabled it to demonstrate its considerable advantages over the competition produced by western companies.

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