Huge deal for 200 Helicopters signed between India and Russia

India-Russia ties are growing despite India establishing greater ties with nations like Japan and America. There’s been a lot of noise about how India-Russia ties are deteriorating, but it is far from the truth. Cooperation on all three fronts – economic, defence and nuclear – is depending on these two old friends.

The latest of the big deals comes in the form of a contract signing for the delivery of 200 Ka-226 multirole helicopters well as Mi-171A2 helicopter in a few months.

Russian Helicopters CEO Andrei Boginsky said: “We will sign a contract on the delivery of 200 Ka-226 helicopters for the Indian Defence Ministry later this year, but most likely in early 2018.”

The Ka-226 helicopters are designed by the Kamov Design Bureau. They are lightweight, twin-engine utility helicopters that feature interchangeable mission pods allowing the use of various payload configurations.The Mi-171A2 is the newest multi-purpose, mid-range helicopter, and offers the highest level of reliability, safety and comfort.

According to the contract, Russian Helicopters organises deliveries to India and localisation of production in India of Russian Ka-226T helicopters and its modifications in the amount of 200 units, at least 140 of which will be produced at the facilities of the joint venture in India.

Russia is not only a huge exporter of arms to India but technology cooperation in the defence sector is also expanding. India purchases/leases and then initiates upgrades of primarily tanks, armoured vehicles, and nuclear submarines from Russia. The BrahMos missile is testimony to the robust partnership between the two countries. Now, the purchase by India of the S-400 Triumf missile defence system and these helicopters have established new frontiers of ties.

Both countries have also endeavoured towards greater economic ties in Russia’s Western region. Nuclear cooperation is getting stronger with Russia not only constructing more nuclear power plants in India, but even collaborating with India to give Bangladesh its first nuclear power plant. This will be India’s first such venture outside our borders, and its turning to reality with Russia is of no surprise as both nations enjoy deep trust and camaraderie.

Vinayak Jain