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August 28, 2015

160 Kamov Choppers to be Built in India, 40 in Russia

 
India can manufacture 160 out of the 200 Kamov Ka-226T Light Utility Helicopters -- which will eventually replace the vintage Cheetah and Chetak choppers -- while the rest will be made in Russia, the CEO of a state-run business and manufacturing conglomerate here has said.
Sergey Chemezov, CEO of Russian state-run business and manufacturing conglomerate Rostec Corporation, said under the agreement reached between Russia and India on manufacturing 200 KA226T helicopters, New Delhi will be free to build and export the aircraft to other countries.
This is considered a major step forward towards realisation of the 'Make in India' campaign of Prime Minister Narendra Modi which is being seen with keen interest here.
Chemezov said under the helicopter manufacturing project, the first 40 will be produced in Russia and the rest will be made in India with transfer of technology and licence for production.
State-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd is a "front-runner" for partnering with Russia for the manufacture of Kamov Ka-226T helicopters -- which will eventually replace the vintage Cheetah and Chetak choppers -- under the 'Make in India' initiative.
The Russian offer to build the Light Utility Helicopters (LUH) in India received clearance in May from the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC).
"Talks are on to identify a partner and it is up to India to choose a partner," Chemezov told international media on the sidelines of Moscow Aviation and Space Salon (MAKS), 2015, an aero show and aviation exposition.
There were talks that apart from HAL, Anil Ambani group was also interested in partnering in the exercise.
Indian Ambassador to Russia P S Raghavan had recently told PTI that defence cooperation between the two countries continues to be vibrant despite India buying or proposing to buy military equipment from other countires including France from which it intends to procure Rafale fighter jets.
India is still dependent on Russia for nearly 60-70 per cent of its defence supplies.
Chemezov said work on building Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) was also on the right track.
The two countries had signed strategic partnership agreement during President Vladimir Putin's India visit in 2000.
Chemezov said talks were in progress for negotiating ship and submarine building and creating service centres to cater to the need for maintenance of equipment already supplied to India.
Chemezov also pitched for a visa-free regime among BRICS nations for seamless trade facilitation, a move that could boost Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Make in India' initiative.
"There is a need for a visa-free regime among members of the BRICS nations. Customs hurdles also need to be eased. I hope our leaders decide on it soon to boost trade and Industry in our countries," Chemezov Viktor Kladov, the Head of International Cooperation of
Rosoboronexport, which oversees all import and export related to Russia, when asked, said,"The ease of doing business has indeed improved in India. Earlier there were too many delays. Decisions are being taken faster at the government level."
He recalled how Modi had fast-tracked the helicopter deal after visiting the Russian stall at the aeroshow in Bangalore recently.
Kladov, however, insisted that manufacturing has to be undertaken on a large scale to be mutually beneficial and cost effective for the two countires.
He said negotiations were on for joint designing of submarines for production in India.
Chemezov said though Rostec Corporation has become one of the ten largest in the world, sanctions were hurting the Russian economy.
He said Rostec ended 2014 with a surplus of 34 billion roubles despite sanctions imposed on the country by western powers.
"We are tackling sanctions step by step. You (India) have survived sanctions for many years (after Pokhran nuclear blast). I am sure, given our long-standing partnership, India
will help us face these sanctions which are wrong. Though the US is largely unaffected,the European Union has begun to feel the pinch in terms of orders for goods they now cannot sell us," he said.

newindiaexpress

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