Kamov 226T
India will be manufacturing close to 200 Kamov 226T Russian choppers for its armed forces.Wiki Commons/Ajvol

Under the "Make in India" initiative, Russian firm Rostech State Corporation has tied up with India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to manufacture 200 Kamov 226T light helicopters. The new fleet of Kamovs will replace the ageing Cheetah and Chetak helicopters.

The deal is estimated to be worth $1 billion, according to Press Trust of India report. It is believed Rostech will organise the production of the Kamov helicopters for at least 200 units.

Last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. The two leaders signed a deal for Russian Kamovs to be manufactured in India under the "Make in India" initiative. The agreement also proiveded for maintenance, operation and repair facility of the helicopters in India, LiveMint reported.

"The agreement with India is the result of the long work with our Indian partners," said Sergei Chemezov, CEO of Russian firm Rostech.

"The organisation for the manufacture of helicopters is provided by the creation of a Russian-Indian joint venture in India, which includes holdings of Rostech-JSC 'Rosoboronexport' and 'Russian Helicopters', and on the India side the HLA," Chemezov said.

Of the 181 Cheetah and Chetak helicopters held by Indian Army, 51 were approximately 40 years old and 78 were between 30-40 years old, Press Trust of India quoted a CAG report as saying.

"Rostech's competitive advantage lies in the fact that we are ready to deal with not only the localisation of helicopters in India, but also offer our partners the localisation of production technology," Rostech's CEO said in an official statement.

The Kamov 226T helicopters have a unique capability of operating in dense urban areas to mountainous regions such as Siachen, a Hindustan Times report stated.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate a helicopter production facility at Tumakuru in Karnataka on Sunday, Press Trust of India reported.

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