India and Russia are set to sign a landmark deal to jointly manufacture new generation of light military choppers under the Make in India initiative during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Moscow later this month.
While the inter governmental contract for producing over 200 of the Kamov 226 choppers will be inked, a top Russian official has said that other details, including the selection of the Indian partner for the $ 1 billion deal will be decided later.
The initial choppers will be produced from Russian supplied kits but would be progressively indigenized. The Russian official said that France, which supplies the engines for the chopper, is already on board for technology transfer as well.
The light choppers are desperately needed by the Army to replace its fleet of ageing Cheetah/Chetak helicopters that are deployed to support troops posted at high altitude areas, including the Siachen glacier. While the initial contract would be for 200 choppers, the number is expected to swell much beyond due to the massive demand as well as applications for the civil market.
The Kamov Ka-226 is a small, twin-engined Russian utility helicopter. The Ka-226 features an interchangeable mission pod, rather than a conventional cabin, allowing the use of various accommodation or equipment configurations. The Ka-226 entered service in 2002.
- Crew: 2
- Passengers: 9
- Cargo: 1,400kg internally, or 1,500kg on an external sling
- Length: 8.1 m (25 ft 7 in)
- Main rotor diameter: 2× 13 m (42 ft 8 in)
- Height: 4.15 m (13 ft 7 in)
- Gross weight: 3400 kg (7496 lb)
- Powerplant: 2 × Turbomeca Arrius 2G1, 335 kW (450 hp) each
- Maximum speed: 205 km/h (127 mph)
- Cruising speed: 195 km/h (121 mph)
- Range: 600 km (372 miles)
- Service ceiling: 6200 m (20300 ft)
- Hover ceiling: 2500 m (8200 ft)