Made in Russia
Russia has no plans to produce the Mi-17 military helicopters in India under the government’s ‘Make in India’ programme as of now, even as it is hoping to grab additional orders for this multipurpose choppers for the Indian armed forces.
In February, Russia shipped its last batch of Mi-17V-5 helicopters to India under a contract in which New Delhi procured 151 of these military transport helicopters.
The helicopters, which are being built by the Kazan Helicopter Plant (part of the Russian Helicopters of stateowned Rostec), are popular with the Indian armed forces. As a result, India had been urging the Russian company to set up an assembly line here.
“We are not going to produce it in India. It will be produced in Russia,” Sergey Detkov, Director of Sales Development, Russian Helicopters told BusinessLine.
According to the CEO of Kazan Helicopters Plant (part of Russian Helicopters) Vadim Ligay, localisation of Mi-17 production can happen in “future”.
However, the company has plans to open service centres in India for these Mi-17V-5 helicopters, which is the most advanced version helicopter types.
of Mi-17 The company is also expecting additional orders for these helicopters and may soon sign an agreement to supply 48-50 more to India, according to industry sources who refused to be identified.
“The contract was signed with Rosoboronexport. Negotiations are going on with India for more orders,” said Ligay.
Russia has already signed an agreement with India to co-produce the Kamov 226T light utility helicopters in India.
New Delhi is procuring 200 of such choppers, out of which 140 will be manufactured in India in collaboration with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) while 60 will be bought off the shelf.
Earlier this month, India finalised a deal to purchase six Apache attack helicopters, which are multi-role combat choppers, for the Indian Army from the US. But this is not a setback for the Russians who have sold 400 choppers to India that are currently in service in the armed forces.
“India’s purchase of Apache helicopters from the US is not a setback for us. India is following a diversified procurement policy to protect its national interests. We have been one of the main suppliers of helicopters to India. Over 400 Russian helicopters are currently in service in India. In the future, we will continue our active cooperation with Indian partners,” said Detkov.
US sanctions on Russia
The company remains indomitable by the recent trade sanctions imposed by the US and has plans to produce 900 helicopters by 2025.
“We do not feel the sanctions at all. We continue to work with French and American companies. Americans are using our helicopters in the Afghanistan campaign. It was also used during the Afghanistan war,” said Ligay.
(The writer was in Kazan at the invitation of Kazan Helicopters Plant.)
A file photo of the IAF’s Mi-17 V5 helicopter