Indian Army to request waiver to take Kamov-226T Utility Helicopters
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III –Defence and Security
- The Indian Army is going to approach the Defence Ministry for a waiver to take the Kamov-226T (Ka-226T) utility helicopters with Russia.
- In 2015, India and Russia concluded an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) for 200 Ka-226T helicopters estimated to cost over USD 1 billion.
- The Kamov-226T is meant to replace Cheetah and Chetak fleets of the Indian Army and the Air Force.
- The Ka-226T is a design of Russia’s famed Kamov design bureau.
- It is a light helicopter, with a maximum take-off weight of over 3.5 tonnes and can carry a payload of up to 1 tonne.
- The Ka-226T uses coaxial rotors which is especially advantageous in high-altitude environments.
- The Ka-226T also has a unique, detachable ‘mission’ compartment which allows the helicopter to be adapted for different roles such as surveillance and cargo delivery.
Issues with the Old Fleet of Helicopters
- About 75% of the Army’s fleet of Cheetah and Chetak helicopters is over 30 years old which need urgent replacements.
- Operational capability has been impacted due to deficiencies and non-availability of replacement.