New Delhi has approved the technical configuration of the Kamov Ka-226T "Sergei" light utility helicopters, of which 200 will be procured for the Indian military.

“Approval of helicopter configuration to be delivered and assembled in India means that the technical aspects of the project have been finalized. We and our Indian partners shall commence the preparation of contractual documents in the near future”, said Andrey Boginskiy, director general of Russian Helicopters.

A local joint venture was registered in India in 2017 for production of Ka-226Ts in Tunkur, which is located close to Bangalore.

Media reports indicated that 40 examples will be produced in Russia, with the following 160 in India.

In May 2015, New Delhi’s Defence Acquisition Council selected the Ka-226T for a long running requirement for 197 reconnaissance and surveillance helicopters.

The army and air force have had pending requirements for over a decade to acquire 133 and 64 RSH aircraft, respectively, to replace their obsolescent Cheetah and Chetak light helicopters.

Russian Helicopters says the Ka-226T, which uses a coaxial rotor system, has a maximum take-off weight of 3.6t and can carry up to 1t of payload. It can be fitted with different modules, such as a transport cabin for six personnel or for specialised equipment.