The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) of India has given the green light for the local production of the Russian-designed Kamov Ka-226T helicopter on Wednesday 13 May 2015.
Initially the deal will be for 200 of these machines, but larger numbers of 400 Ka-226Ts have been mentioned earlier, as Airheadsfly.com reported in December.
The exact details of the local production still have to be worked out, but sources in New Delhi say some of the initial agreement of 200 choppers might be bought directly from the Russian production plant; illustrating the need of India to quickly beef up its number of helicopters.
The Ka-226T is likely starting the replacement of 34 Cheetahs (Alouette II) of the Air Force and the 48 Cheetahs of the Indian Navy, built under license by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). In the second phase the 74 remaining HAL Chetaks (Alouette III) of the Air Force and the 60 of the Indian Army might see decommissioning with the introduction of the Kamovs. The Ka-225Ts are to serve next to the somewhat troubled HAL Dhruv, India’s indigenous helicopter development. Other Ka-226T will be fielded on the civilian market.
© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image: The Kamov Ka-226T is produced both for military and civilian purposes (Image © Russian Helicopters)