READ 15 MAY UPDATE HERE! Russia and India are in the final stages of negotiations about a massive helicopter production deal, sources in Moscow and New Delhi say. The plan: for India to produce 400 Kamov Ka-226T utility helicopters a year, to be used by its armed forces and after that to export to other countries.
“I am pleased that Russia has offered to fully manufacture in India one of its most advanced helicopters, for both military and civilian use,” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed in an official statement.
Some sources say the likely deal will also include local Indian production of the Mil Mi-17 medium-transport and assault helicopter, which is one of the world’s most popular rotary wings building on the equally popular Mi-8 (“Hip”) design. The Indian Air Force already has at least 222 Mi-8s and Mi-17s on strength. The Ka-226T might replace the aging 74 remaining HAL Chetaks (Alouette IIIs) and 34 HAL Cheetahs (Alouette II) within the Air Force, plus 55 Chetaks in the Indian Navy and the 48 Cheetahs plus 60 Cheetaks of the Indian Army.
A helicopter deal might level the way for other stuff, like India to maybe buying an export version of the stealthy Sukhoi PAK FA (T-50) that Russia is currently developing.
Meanwhile Russian Helicopters is continuing its supply of attack helicopters to the domestic military needs. Latest: a batch of likely 2 to 4 Mil Mi-28N Night Hunter attack helicopters delivered to the Russian Army Aviation on 19 December, the same day as they rolled off the assembly line of the Frunze Embankment National Center.
© 2014 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger; Night Hunter information provided by Russian Helicopters