Kamov 226T
India would produce close to 200 Kamov Ka-226T Russian choppers for its Air Force.Wiki Commons/Ajvol

Rostec along with Kamov is looking to start the production of Kamov Ka-226T, the light utility helicopter from Russia known for its visually-unique twin rotors, in India in 2017. The production of the helicopter will begin if the "process" goes according to the plan, Viktor Kladov, director for international cooperation and regional policy of the Russian State Corporation Rostec, said at the Defence Services Asia exhibition in Kuala Lumpur, Russian news agency TASS reported.

"If the process develops according to the plan, the corresponding firm contract will be ready by the end of 2016. We hope that the relevant work will be started at the Indian production site as early as in 2017," Kladov said.

India, Russia had agreed to jointly produce about 200 Ka-226T helicopters in India under the current government's "Make in India" initiative. This agreement was signed during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Moscow in December 2015. The contract is estimated to cost over $1 billion.

The main partner for the project will be the Indian state-owned company, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). But, Kladov also noted that other Indian companies too would be picked up to participate in the project.

TASS also highlighted a previous quote from Igor Chechikov, deputy director general of Russian Helicopters, which is a subsidiary of Rostec as saying that India will receive about 60 helicopters in assembled condition and the other 140 helicopters would be assembled at HAL production facilities.

India is looking to replace its aging work-horse choppers like Chetak, which have been helping the Indian Army bring supplies to its forward post at the higher altitude zones in Siachen and other places.

The Ka-226T helicopters are certified to work in both cold and hot temperatures, it has perational and hover ceilings of the helicopter are 5,700m and 4,100m, respectively, and the maximum rate of climb is 10m/s.

The aircraft can carry up to 1,400 kgs of cargo. It can be used in diverse roles like surveillance, reconnaissance, search and rescue, cargo and troops transportation.