Russia and India announce step-change helicopter production
By Guy Anderson
Russian Helicopters has announced an agreement to establish a joint venture (JV) in India with Elcom Systems to manufacture Russian-designed rotary-wing aircraft under the Ka and Ma brands; a deal that marks an abrupt shift from conventional Russo-Indian defence and aerospace co-operation.
Elcom a subsidiary of the SUN Group is a privately owned venture. Russia is India's most significant military industrial partner, although past large-scale collaboration has almost always been on a government-to-government level between state-owned organisations.
The agreement between Russian Helicopters (a subsidiary of Russian state holding company Oboronprom) and Elcom was announced on 26 December. It coincided with a visit to India by Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the announcement of a series of military contracts valued at around USD3 billion.
The JV will almost certainly be related to offset obligations that will be attached to the Indian procurement of 71 Mi-17B Hip helicopters, valued at USD1.3 billion. In addition to the Mi helicopters, India agreed to procure 42 additional SU-30MKI fighter aircraft in kit form for USD1.6 billion.
The JV between Elcom and Russian Helicopters will produce helicopter components in addition to carrying out final assembly and testing.193 of 364 words
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