NATIONAL

India, Russia chopper deal on right track

India and Russia are in the final stages of concluding the deal to build Kamov-226T utility helicopters in India. A Russian team is in India to hold discussions on the joint venture that will manufacture the helicopters.

“A Russian team is in India for technical discussions on the JV with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL). The Request For Quotation (RFQ) should be issued by the government to the JV in about a month or so after the current round of discussions,” an official source said.

India and Russia have concluded an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) for 200 helicopters estimated to cost over $1 billion.

As per the deal, 60 helicopters will be imported from Russia and at least another 140 built in India by the HAL with technology transfer.

After the RFQ is issued to the JV, the final commercial deal should be concluded very quickly as there are fixed timelines on the process, the source added.

The India-Russia JV is between the HAL and Russia’s Rostec-JSC Rosoboronexport and Russian Helicopters.

The Kamov-226T helicopters are meant to replace the ageing and obsolete Cheetah and Chetak fleets of the Indian armed forces. The number is expected to go beyond 200 given the large requirement from the services.

India and Russia intend to export the Kamov-226T to third countries after meeting the domestic requirement.

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