Moscow, July 20 (IANS) Deliveries of Russian Ka-226T helicopters, which India is buying and which would subsequently be made in India, are expected to start two years after a final contract is signed following negotiations by a Joint Venture formed by the two countries, an official of Russian state-run firm Rostec has said.
CEO of Rostec Corporation Sergey Chemezov said the Russian side is awaiting a request from the Indian Defence Ministry and negotiations on the Joint Venture are on.
He said that Russia is ready for collaborating with private firms for the project and a decision on this rests with India, but said it may lead to delays in the project.
The project is expected to be based in Bengaluru.
“We have established a Joint Venture in India, and we expect an official request from the Ministry of Defence of India, the customer. Accordingly, after the contract is signed, in two years the first deliveries of the helicopters will be made,” Chemezov said on the sidelines of 13th International Aerospace Show MAKS here.
Chemezov said Rostec is also ready to involve Indian private firms in the project, but expressed concern that it could lead to delays in the implementation.
“Within implementation of the joint project of Rostec and HAL for Ka-226T production in India it is possible to engage other companies, including private ones, depending on the Indian party,” Chemezov said.
“They have to evaluate and affirm the readiness and reliability of private companies for most of which it is a new business domain. Rostec sees no problems in collaborating with private companies, but we understand that engagement of other partners in the project could make the project implementation more difficult or increase the implementation deadlines. But we are ready for this,” he said.
Russia and India, during the bilateral summit in Moscow in December 2015, signed an intergovernmental agreement for implementation of the project for production of Ka-226T helicopters in India.
During the bilateral summit held in Goa in October last year, the parties signed a Partner Agreement and ratified the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the new Joint Venture, which was announced on the sidelines of the BRICS summit.
The Russian side has 49.5 per cent share, while India has 50.5 per cent stake in the Joint Venture. Russian President Vladimir Putin gave his nod to the project in April this year, and it was registered in India in May this year.
India will now have to make a request to Russia for the helicopters, and a final contract would then be signed.
The final contract will have exact details of the extent of technology transfer, number of helicopters to be supplied in knock-down kits and those to be made by the joint company, and the name of the company as well as other partner firms.
As per Rostec, the minimum project volumes are the procurement of 40 helicopters from Russia and the production of 160 helicopters in India with different localisation degrees.
“Rostec’s strategy is to further expand cooperation with Indian manufacturers in compliance with the ‘Make in India’ policy proclaimed by the Government of Prime Minister Modi,” Chemezov added.
He also said that HAL, which is the partner from the Indian side in the project, has “significant experience in the transfer of Russian technologies to India”.
“We expect that the target location to implement the project will be in Bangalore on the production capacities of HAL that are currently used in the assembly project of Su-30 MKI. There are all necessary conditions, including human resources for successful project implementation,” he said.
(Anjali Ojha is in Moscow at the invitation of the organisers of the MAKS-2017 air show. She can be reached at email@example.com)