Indo-Russian talks on the production of Ka-226T helicopters in India are frozen over level of localization.
"Talks with India on the production of Ka-226T helicopter have been frozen as the Russia’s partner is unsatisfied with the localization level suggested by the joint enterprise," Deputy Director of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) Vladimir Drozhzhov was quoted as saying by TASS today at Aero India 2023.
However the Indian side is considering the purchase of ready-to-fly (Ka-226T) helicopters from Russia, Vladimir Drozhzhov added.
"Unfortunately, the talks with Indian partners on the localization level of Ka-226T helicopter production have been almost frozen. As the Defense Ministry of the Republic of India says they are unsatisfied with the localization level suggested by the joint enterprise.
The Indian partners have been provided with upgraded proposals which implies 70% localization. The Indian side is expected to provide its decision on continuation of the negotiations process," he said.
The Indian side is represented by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) while the Russian side consists of Russian Helicopters. Both have set up a joint venture company Indo-Russian Helicopters Limited and began commercial negotiations in 2020 to build the Ka-226T in India which is a multi-purpose light utility helicopter.
In the meantime, HAL developed its own light utility helicopter (LUH) and has set up a dediated plant to manufacture the LUH in Tumakuru near Banalore.
Drozhzhov said that the Russian helicopter is superior to the Indian LUH in terms of combat characteristics. Due to this the Indian military is considering the possibility of purchasing ready-to-fly Ka-226Ts, though no particular decisions have been taken as yet, he said.