Bureaucracy is delaying the delivery of 60 Russian KA-226T helicopters for the Indian Armed Forces, Russian State Corporation Rostec Chief Executive Sergey Chemezov has informed.
Russia and India had agreed to jointly manufacture Kamov-226T helicopters in the South Asian nation.
According to a Request for Proposal (RFP), issued by India’s Ministry of Defense, 200 helicopters will be procured of which 135 units will be for the army and 65 for the Indian air force (IAF). The Kamov helicopters will replace the ageing Cheetah and Chetak helicopters. The deal is estimated to cost 210 billion rupees (US$3 billion).
The deal envisages manufacturing 60 Ka-226T in Russia and the remaining units in India, under a joint venture between Russia’s Rosoboronexport and India’s state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL). Other local Indian companies will be contracted for component work. The delivery of the 60 helicopters were to begin this year.
“If we manage to complete all formalities we can deliver. Unfortunately there’s so much of bureaucracy in Russia and India,” Chemezov told a press conference on the sidelines of IDEX.
The production of helicopters in India could possibly begin by end of 2019, he added.
The joint venture company Indo Russian Helicopter Pvt Ltd (IRHL) is considering to involve Indian private companies in the localization program as many of them have the necessary capabilities. The intergovernmental agreement has a clause for up to 50 per cent localization of manufacturing.
The capital of the joint venture is estimated to be at 300 million rupees, with HAL holding shares up to 50.5 percent. And 42.5 percent of shares will be held Russian Helicopter and the rest by Rosoboronexport.
The new facility at Tumakuru near Bengaluru will be self-contained for production and maintenance of Light Utility Helicopters. The cost of the project to cover initial establishment of the facility is expected to be around 20 billion rupees.
The Ka-226T light multirole helicopter with a coaxial rotor system has a maximum takeoff weight of 3.4 tons and is capable of carrying up to 1.5 tons of cargoes or up to seven passengers to a distance of 600 km.