Russia says it has made the most favourable offer to build light multipurpose Ka-226T helicopters in India

"The topic of the Ka-226T is under negotiation. There are some issues from the Indian side that require additional approvals. The Russian side has offered a maximum of concessions and is ready to continue the dialogue," Director of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) Dmitry Shugaev told Interfax in a recent interview.

“We also know that the Indian Air Force is very interested in obtaining modern Russian-made helicopter technology, and therefore we look forward to a balanced decision by our Indian partners,” he added.

In 2015, India and Russian governments signed up to manufacture for 200 Ka-226T helicopters at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)’s plant at Tumkur, Karnataka, is estimated to cost over $1 billion. The Kamov-226T is meant to replace the Cheetah and Chetak fleets of the Indian Army and the Air Force. Of the 200 helicopters, 60 are meant to be manufactured at the Russian Helicopters (RH) plant in Ulan Ude. RH announced at the end of 2020 that manufacturing had commenced for the first few helicopter airframes for the Indian order.

The Indian media have reported citing senior government officials that the contract is likely to be shelved. The two sides could reportedly not yet narrow differences on cost and extent of indigenous content. The 2+2 dialogue and the summit between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Monday might result in progress in India buying some KA-226T choppers from Russia off-the-shelf too meet the immediate requirement of light utility helicopters.