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Indo-Russian Helicopters hopes to kick-start $1-b deal

Indo-Russian Helicopters Pvt Ltd, a joint venture between Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd and Russian Helicopters, is looking to start financial negotiations for a nearly $1-billion deal for 200 Ka-226T helicopters with the Indian Defence Ministry this month.

“The joint venture has received the request for proposal (RFP) in May this year. By end of August we submitted the technical and commercial proposal, and for past three months we were having technical consultations, with another one happening just tomorrow. We hope that we would start financial negotiations in December,” said Andrey Boginsky, CEO, Russian Helicopters. The deal implies that 60 helicopters will be built in Russia in a fly-away condition, and the remaining 140 will be made in India.

According to Boginsky, Russian Helicopters has a “clear cut plan” of which components to be localized in India and the partners it will work with in the country.

However, he noted, it has not yet signed any agreements either with Russia-based suppliers, or potential partners in India, as it is still waiting for the Defence Ministry to sign the contract. “The first 60 helicopters are to be built in Russia, so we will have sufficient time to carry out localization activities for all the main components,” Boginsky added.

The Ka-226T is a light multi-role helicopter, that can be used for passenger, medical, search and rescue, or police purposes.


Asian contracts ::

While India has been slow with the procurement of Ka-226T helicopters (the inter-governmental agreement was signed in 2016), Russian Helicopters has been actively exploring the neighbouring markets.

During a month-long demo tour around South-East Asia, the company has signed contracts worth $500 million for 70 units of company’s flagship machines — a lightweight twin-engine multi-purpose helicopter Ansat, and a mid-class multi-purpose helicopter Mi-171A2 with China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia, Boginsky said.

He added that this includes both soft and hard contracts.

“China has signed for 20 Ansat helicopters for the Association of Disaster Medicine of China. The remaining 50 helicopters are planned for delivery to Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia,” he said.

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