China in Advanced Talks with Russian Helicopters to Acquire KA-226T Choppers

  • Defensemirror.com Bureau
  • 02:30 PM, August 17, 2023
  • 1350
China in Advanced Talks with Russian Helicopters to Acquire KA-226T Choppers
KA-226T helicopter at ARMY-2023 Forum @Defense Mirror

China is in advanced talks with Russian helicopters to acquire an unspecified number of its KA-226T chopper.

The KA-226T was upgraded a couple of years ago with enhanced high-altitude capability.

Addressing a small group of journalists at the Army 2023 show in Moscow, a Russian Helicopters spokesperson, Alexander Zobovich said that the discussion with China centered around acquiring the civilian version of the KA-226T.

Related news: Russian Helicopters to Showcase Upgraded Ka-226T Helicopter at ARMY-2023

The helicopter is currently in the final phase of its civilian certification, he said.

Rostec said Ka-226T helicopters have high potential on Chinese market with its increasing demand for universal rotorcrafts. The choppers are based on the unique coaxial rotor system, which allows to land on small unequipped grounds and to maneuver amid highlands and restrained urban conditions. These attributes perfectly suit China with its landscape and modern metropolises.

China in Advanced Talks with Russian Helicopters to Acquire KA-226T Choppers
KA-226T helicopter at ARMY-2023 Forum @Defense Mirror

An official from Russian Helicopters said a delegation from China had shown interest in the Ka-226T project at the Army-2021 Forum.

Indian acquisition of KA-226T

Asked about the status of India acquiring the helicopters, he said those negotiations are progressing "but the discussions with China are moving faster."

The Indian Air Force requires Ka-226Ts to replace its inventory of outdated Cheetah and Chetak helicopters.

The Ka-226T could offer an advantage over the Chetak/Cheetah and the indigenous Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) in terms of survivability in hazardous terrain due to its dual-engine design and co-axial propeller.

India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Russian Helicopters set up a joint venture named “Indo-Russian Helicopters Limited” and began commercial negotiations in 2020 to build Ka-226Ts in India.

During Aero India 2023, Deputy Director of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) Vladimir Drozhzhov told Russia’s TASS News Agency that "Talks with India on the production of Ka-226T helicopter have been frozen as the Russia’s partner is unsatisfied with the localization level of 70% suggested by the joint enterprise.”

He said the Indian side is considering the purchase of ready-to-fly helicopters.

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