IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

Ka-226T deal

28th December, 2020 Security and Defence

Context: With the deal for Ka-226T utility helicopters with Russia not concluded five years after it was announced and its fleet of Cheetah and Chetak helicopters at the end of their service life, the Army is set to approach the Defence Ministry for a waiver to take the deal forward.

  • About 75% of the Army’s fleet of Cheetah and Chetak helicopters is over 30 years old.
  • Some of them are about 50 years old. There is a need for urgent replacements.
  • The Ka-226T deal with Russia has been stuck over indigenisation. So the Army is approaching the Ministry of Defence [MoD] for a waiver to conclude the deal.
  • In 2015, India and Russia had concluded an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) for at least 200 Ka-226T twin engine utility helicopters estimated to cost over $1 billion with 60 helicopters to be directly imported and remaining 140 manufactured locally.
  • They are to replace the ageing and obsolete Cheetah and Chetak fleet of the Army and the Air Force.

  • A joint venture India Russia Helicopters Ltd. (IRHL) has been set up between Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) and Russian Helicopters (RH) which will assemble the helicopters in India.
  • The Request For Proposal (RFP) issued by the MoD to IRHL for 200 helicopters stated 70% localisation over which the final deal has been held up as the JV quoted localisation of 62.4% in its response.