Made in Rus­sia

The Hindu Business Line - - FRONT PAGE - AFP

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.

In­dian re­quest

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.

More or­ders

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.

Apache deal

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

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