India has approved the technical configuration of the 200 Ka-226Ts developed by Russian Helicopters

CHENNAI: India has moved a step closer to procuring 200 Kamov Ka-226T light utility helicopters from Russia for the Indian Army and Air Force. India has approved the technical configuration of the 200 Ka-226Ts developed by Russian Helicopters. It will be assembled by the joint venture Indo-Russian helicopters limited in India, the firm said at the DefExpo here.

The firm also said that it had developed a training program for Indian pilots and technicians for the supply and production of the helicopter in India.

The project for delivering 200 Ka-226T units and establishing the Ka-226T serial production in India is being implemented under the inter-governmental agreement signed in 2016. The first lot of 60 helicopters will be brought from Russia, while the remaining 140 will be made in India under the joint venture.

The joint venture for the helicopter assembly with subsequent localisation of production was registered in India in May 2017. The MoD has identified the production site. The joint venture will be situated in Tumkur, near Bangalore, said Russian Helicopters.

"Approval of helicopter configuration to be delivered and assembled in India means that the technical aspects of the project have been finalised. We and our Indian partners shall commence the preparation of contractual documents in the near future", said Andrey Boginskiy, Director General of Russian Helicopters Holding Company.

Under the training program, there is a plan to put into operation five simulators for the Ka-226T pilot training. "One of them will be set at the facilities of Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant, where 60 Ka-226T helicopters will be produced for India. Another four simulators will be delivered to India and will be placed at the facilities of the Air Force and Army,” said officials of Russian Helicopters.

"Training of foreign specialists is one of the most important stages of implementation of the Russian and Indian Ka-226T project, as we have to ensure not only the supply of helicopters, but also their professional maintenance and operation. For this purpose we have already prepared and sent to our partners a training program that outlines all the areas of training of the Indian specialists," said Boginskiy.

The Ka-226T has a maximum take-off weight of 3.6 tonnes and can transport up to 1 ton of payload. It can be equipped with a transport cabin, which allows transporting up to 6 people or modules fitted with special equipment.