Russian President Vladimir Putin has finally given the go ahead for setting up an Indo-Russian joint venture for production of Kamov Ka-226T helicopters, according to Indian press reports.
Indian defence ministry sources are quoted as saying that HAL, Russian Helicopters and Rosoboronexport would sign an MoU to complete the formalities for setting up the JV.
New Delhi has selected the Ka-226T to replace 200 ageing Indian Army and Air Force Cheetahs and Chetaks. The partners have indicated that 60 helicopters would be supplied to India in fly-away condition, while 140 would be manufactured in India.
The creation of the JV — announced last October — followed an intergovernmental agreement between the two countries signed in 2015. In addition to final assembly, the agreement provides for maintenance, operation and repairs of these helicopters.
At the recent Aero India show, Russian Helicopters announced that it was developing a new "one window" after-sales service concept in India, which is aimed at building strategic relationships with helicopter operators involving non-tender based, long-term agreements covering the complete helicopter life cycle.