200 utility helicopters are urgently required for both the Army Aviation and the Indian AirForce. These will replace the aging Cheetah and the Chetak helicopters. India is producing its own designed indigenous Light Support Helicopter – the DHRUV.we have even gone ahead in the field of Light Attack Helicopters.
However we are still importing the Utility, the Medium Support Helicopters and the Heavy Support Helicopters. So as a next step India has moved a step further in its project of co-producing 200 Kamov Ka-226T helicopters worth Rs 21,000 crore. For these hepters RFP has been issued to Russian Company Rostec.
The Defence ministry, a few days ago, issued a Request for Proposal for the project to the manufacturer, Russian Helicopters, part of Russian corporation, Rostec. “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,” said an official.
The RFP is an important document in the defence procurement process and elaborates on the general requirement of the equipment, the numbers required, delivery timeframes, maintenance and support package. The RFP was worked out in consultation with the joint venture setup between Russian Helicopters and Indian Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.
Earlier, officials from both the countries had met several times to iron out the RFP, including laying out the road map as to how the program will unfold in India. As per the RFP the intent is to procure 200 of the helicopters, 135 for the army and 65 for the IAF. 40 will be bought in flyaway condition for the Army Aviation and the rest 95 will be produced in HAL.
20 Choppers for the IAF will also be bought in flyaway condition and balance 45 produced by the HAL. Now it will be turn of The Russians to respond and sign the contract. Andrey Boginskiy, Director General of Russian Helicopters Holding Company, was very confident at the Defexpo-2018 held in Chennai last month regarding entering into the contract.
As per estimates the contract is likely to be wrapped up by the end of this year. Both India and Russia had signed an intergovernmental agreement for the supply and local manufacturing of this utility helicopter in India. In May 2017, a joint venture as per the IGA was contracted in Bangalore between Russian Helicopters and HAL.
The Ulan-Ude plant of Russian Helicopters will make 60 hepters while the remaining 140 will be made in India under the joint venture. The joint venture facility will be located in the vicinity of Tumkur, near Bangalore. The JV will move ahead with a gradual increase of the localization process.
At first, components and technologies will be transferred, then production of components from the supplied materials and assembly of helicopters will begin, and, finally, complete assembly of the helicopters will be organized.