Make in India: India, Russia to manufacture 200 Kamov helicopters


Bolstering the government’s flagship ‘Make in India’ programme, Russia’s Rostec State Corporation has announced a tie-up with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) on December 29 to manufacture at least 200 Kamov-226T helicopters at an estimated cost of Rs 6,000 crore (around $9 billion). The latest development comes barely a week after India and Russia inked a pact for cooperation in helicopter manufacturing during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Moscow from December 23-24.

The deal had leading competitors in the industry vying for the project. The Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group was also eyeing the deal. India had originally planned to import 197 light helicopters. However, the Indian government scrapped $1 billion proposal in August 2014 for manufacturing the choppers in the country in a joint venture with a foreign firm.

According to the agreement, the joint venture with HAL covers maintenance, operation and repair of helicopters.  “The agreement is the result of a long work with our Indian partners. This is the first Russian and Indian high-tech project, being implemented by the Modi government within the framework of the ‘Make in India’ programme,” CEO of Rostec State Corporation Sergei Chemezov said in Moscow. It added that Rostec “will arrange the production of as many as 200 units of Russian Ka-226T and its modifications in India.”

Speaking about the increased engagement between India and Russia, Mr Chemezov said the Indian and Russian partners could also consider the possibility of “joint access” to other markets in the future. “Rostec’s competitive advantage lies in the fact that we are ready to deal with not only the localization of helicopters in India, we also offer our partners the localization of production technology,” he added.  The chopper has a distinct design with coaxial rotors. These rotors are mounted one above the other.

The choppers are known for their versatility and are said to be capable of operating in environments ranging from dense urban conditions to mountains


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