Russian Helicopters has plans for the indigenisation of Kamov Ka-226T components in India, but awaits a signed contract before moving to the next stage of the 197 rotorcraft acquisition for the country's army and air force.

“Right now we are in the stage of selecting [these partners],” says Russian Helicopters director general Andrey Boginsky.

“Since this contract isn’t yet signed, we have not yet concluded contracts with either our Russian or Indian partners.”

The company’s joint venture partners for the project will be Hindustan Aeronautics and Rosoboronexport. In addition, other companies will be contracted for component work.

The deal envisages producing 60 Ka-226T in Russia and the balance in India.

Boginsky made the remarks recently during a company event in Kuala Lumpur. His statement that 60 Ka-226Ts will be “produced completely” in Russia contradicts Indian media reports earlier in 2018 that 40 would be produced in Russia.

“This is why we have sufficient time [to establish our acquisition process] for specific parts and components in India,” he says.

In May 2015, New Delhi’s Defence Acquisition Council selected the Ka-226T for a long running requirement for 133 reconnaissance and surveillance helicopters for the army and 64 for the air force. They will replace obsolescent Cheetah and Chetak light helicopters.

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.