Home Army India, Russia try to resolve impasse over Ka-226 helicopter deal

India, Russia try to resolve impasse over Ka-226 helicopter deal

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Issues concerning the assembly localisation of Ka-226T light utility helicopters are within the process of being resolved, The CEO of the Indo-Russian Helicopters Limited (IRHL) N.M. Srikanth,, said on Thursday. the ultimate deal for manufacturing the helicopters in India has been delayed for a short time .
During Defexpo 2020, Russian Helicopters (RH) signed a contact IRHL for localisation of Ka-226T helicopter production in India.
“Now The Defence Ministry has sought all the details regarding the localisation of the helicopter. we’ve submitted fresh details thereon addressing the clarifications,” Mr. Srikanth said, adding the revised techo-commercial bid was now with the Ministry and will come up before the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) at its next meeting.
The IRHL may be a venture between Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Russian Helicopters (RH), which can assemble the Ka-226T helicopters in India.
Elaborating on the localisations plan, Mr. Srikanth said it might be cover four phases. In Phase 1, 3.3% indigenisation would be achieved for 35 helicopters, in Phase 2 it might go up to fifteen indigenisation for 25 helicopter, 35% indigenisation for 30 helicopters in Phase 3 and eventually to 62.4% indigenisation in Phase 4 for the last 50 helicopters.
The first helicopter would be delivered within 36 months from the signing of the contract and order completed in eight years, he stated.
The helicopter is powered by a French engine and would have 74% Russian content and 26% European content.
In 2015, India and Russia concluded an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) for a minimum of 200 Ka-226T helicopters estimated to cost over $1 billion. The Kamov-226T is meant to exchange the ageing and obsolete Cheetah and Chetak fleets of the Indian Army and thus the Air Force.
As per procedure, the Defence Ministry has issued an invitation For Proposal (RFP) to IRHL for 200 helicopters. The RFP earlier mentioned a localisation of 70%, over which the ultimate deal was delayed because the JV couldn’t meet that.
Of the 200, 60 helicopters will come directly from the RH plant in Ulan Ude and remaining are going to be assembled in India from supply kits from RH. this is often where the difficulty of localisation is critical. “As 60 helicopters are getting to be imported, the 70% localisation should be met with the 140 to be assembled in India, which could make it almost 100% localisation and impossible to satisfy ,” one official said.
The road map signed at the Expo defines the most stages and terms for producing the Ka-226T helicopter in India and lays down the timelines for fixing production, contracting with suppliers, transferring design documentation, supplying technological equipment and machine kits, training Indian personnel and other key stages of the project to localise production, the RH said during a press release .
“The road map made today are getting to be the thought for further development of the Ka-226T localization project in India after the signing of the contract,” said Director General of Russian Helicopters company Andrei Boginsky.
To meet the localisation requirements as a part of the deal, RH is getting into agreements with Indian companies for spares and components. While the Ka-226T is an India specific variant, the Ka-226 is flown by the Russian border security and coast guard which come under the Federal Security Service (FSB)

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