Russian state firm Rostec will work with Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) to build 200 or more Kamov KA-226T “Sergei” light utility helicopters.

The helicopters will be built at a new HAL facility to be constructed in Tumakuru, a city that lies 100 kilometres to the northwest of Bengaluru, where HAL’s headquarters are located, says the Indian airframer.

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.

"The agreement with India is the result of long work with our Indian partners,” says Sergei Chemezov, chief executive of Rostec State Corporation.

“This is the first Russian-Indian high-tech project, implemented by the Indian government within the framework of the "Make in India” programme. The organization for the manufacture of helicopters is provided by the creation of a Russian-Indian joint venture in India, which includes holdings of Rostec - JSC "Rosoboronexport" and "Russian Helicopters", and on the India side – the corporation HAL.”

The deal was signed at a ceremony in Moscow attended by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and Russian president Vladimir Putin.