200 Kamov 226T choppers to be jointly produced by India and Russia for ferrying troops and supplies to Siachen. 60 copters to be produced and supplied directly from Russia. 140 choppers to be produced by HAL-Russian Helicopters at Tumkur in Karnataka. 40 years after serving in the Army, the Cheetah or Chetak choppers would now be replaced by Kamov helicopters

Of the 200 helicopters to be procured and co-produced, 135 will be for the Army and 65 for the Air Force

As against the initial plan for involving a private sector company, India and Russia have decided to move ahead with the programme to produce 200 light utility choppers through their state-owned companies only.

India recently moved ahead with the project of procuring and coproducing 200 Kamov Ka-226T helicopters expected to be worth over `21,000 crore from Russia for the Indian Army and Indian Air Force by issuing an exclusive tender to a joint venture company involving Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Russian Helicopters.

A request for proposal has been issued for producing 200 Kamov 226T choppers to the JV firm, an official said.

In 2015, when India announced the selection of the Kamov choppers for the programme to replace its fleet of vintage Cheetah or Chetak helicopters for ferrying supplies to the Siachen glacier and other high altitude locations, the plan was to involve a private sector firm also in it under the Make in India in defence sector.

After long deliberations over the issue of price and other factors, it was decided that the project would be taken ahead with these two companies only as selection of a private partner would have created further complications and resulted in more delays in the project, government sources said. The RFP was issued soon after top acquisition wing officials from the defence ministry visited Russia to discuss the military projects between the two sides, sources said.

Last year, Indian and Russian officials had met several times to sort out the RFP, including understanding how the program will unfold in India.It makes clear the intent to procure 200 of the helicopters, which entails 135 for the army and 65 for the IAF.

For the army, 40 will be in flyaway condition and the rest 95 will be co-produced with Russia, explained an official, adding, the next step is for the manufacturer to respond to the RFP to take the process forward.

In 2015, India and Russia had signed an intergovernmental pact for the supply and localisation of the helicopter production in India.

In May 2017, a JV within the framework of the deal was registered in Bangalore between Russian Helicopters and HAL. As part of the project, India will procure 60 of the 200 helicopters in flyaway condition, which will be produced at a Russian Helicopters plant, while the remaining 140 will be made in Tumkur, Karnataka.