Russia and India are close to finalizing the chopper deal which would allow India to manufacture helicopters locally.
India remains one of the top defense importers around the world and is currently seeking Moscow’s help to revamp its military equipment. Reportedly, a chopper deal is close to being finalized which would award India the rights to produce the Kamov helicopters – a twin-engine chopper for military and civilian purposes – locally. Talks on this chopper deal first began in year 2015. Two Russian firms – Russian Helicopters and Rosoboronexport – are on the brink of finalizing the chopper deal with India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). According to Viktor Kladov from Rostec (the parent company of Rosoboronexport), the deal could be completed in one or two months. He said,
We have conducted multiple negotiations, most recently in January this year… The document work for the joint venture has been completed and they have been sent for registration with the relevant government bodies… These helicopters are versatile and modular, so they can be used in military, search and rescue, medical and transport tasks… It is possible tha the regional market, the neighboring countries may be interested and the choppers can become export products in their own.
The chopper deal would surely give boost to Prime Minister Modi’s ambitions to manufacture defense hardware in India giving boost to his Make in India campaign.
HAL is currently running several projects of its own, one of which is the Tejas fighter. It entered service last year, 33 years after it was approved. The single-engine plane still remains plagued by production delays. So far, only three have been inducted in the Indian Air Force. The government recently approved an investment of INR 1.36 billion to lay a second production line to ramp up production of the fighter. While the indigenous production is massively hindered, the chopper deal may prove to be a bit of a morale booster for HAL and India.You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ for more updates. Otherwise fill in the subscription box above, or subscribe to our RSS Feed.