HAL-Rostec finalise JV on Ka 226T, seek approval

Bengaluru, Feb 14 (IANS) Russian defence major Rostec on Tuesday said its negotiations with India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd on the joint venture agreement to manufacture light multirole Ka-226T helicopters in India are over and the JV is waiting government approval.

“Since October 2016 the project has been moving full steam ahead. We have conducted multiple negotiations, most recently in January 2017. In January the documents for the JV have been completed and they have been sent for registration with the relevant government bodies,” said Viktor Kladov, head of International Cooperation, Rostec.

“I hope this will happen soon, one to two months. When the JV is registered it can start acting as a subject and negotiate the terms with customers and parent companies. The schedule of delivery and localisation, as well as the terms and the number of units will be up to the JV to finalise,” he added.

On the production of the helicopters, he said: “My assumption is that the production will take place at the HAL facilities in Bengaluru. They are well-equipped and have qualified workforce. Besides they are now completing the Su-30MKI production programme. Hence they will have the manpower and facilities to take on the Ka-226T project.”

The JV resulted from an intergovernmental agreement between the two countries which was signed during the last BRICS summit held in Goa during October last year.

The deal is valued to be worth more than $1 billion for 200 helicopters.

In addition to the assembly, it provides terms for maintenance, operation, repairs and maintenance of these helicopters. The shares have been agreed as 49.5 per cent for the Russian side, 50.5 per cent for the Indian side.

Kamov 226T, which will replace India’s aging Cheetah and Chetak choppers, has a maximum takeoff weight of 3.6 tonnes and can carry up to 1 tonne payload.

Kamov is a light multipurpose helicopter designed for work in difficult conditions like high mountains, hot climate and marine areas. It allows for reconnaissance, targeting and monitoring of transportation.