An email interview with Russian Helicopters is as:-
What key technologies and systems would you be showcasing at DefExpo 2018?
Russian Helicopters Holding Company will showcase Mi-171A2 and Ka-226T helicopters at Defexpo 2018. Both of these models have been launched on the Indian market. Guests and participants of the exhibition will be able to learn about the competitive advantages of Ka-226T helicopter which will be produced in our joint venture Indo-Russian Helicopters Limited.
During the air show in Dubai Russian Helicopters signed a contract with the Indian Vectra Group for the delivery of the first helicopter with an option for one more rotorcraft of the type. The first Mi-171A2 is to be delivered to India in 2018, the certification activities are already underway with the aim to further ramp up deliveries.
What aspect of your business is your primary focus at this show, and why?
During this exhibition our main focus will be on developing cooperation in the sphere of after-sales support service. This issue is of crucial importance for us given the fact that India is the operator of about 400 Russian and Soviet-made helicopters. Holding Company sees mutual interest in timely extension of airworthiness of our helicopters as it ensures flight safety.
Tell us about the production of Mi-38T helicopter. Who else, apart from Russian ministry of defence, do you see is likely to buy it? What sets it apart from Mi-38 helicopter?
Rotorcraft of this class have never been produced in Russia before, this is an absolutely new product that we have managed to launch into production. Currently, first two Mi-38T intended for Russian Ministry of Defense are being assembled at Kazan Helicopters facilities. This is a troop airlift version of Mi-38 helicopter, all assemblies and components are Russian made. Moreover, the provision is made for the installation of communication means for military purposes, as well as auxiliary fuel tanks to increase the flight range. The development of specialized versions, including the arctic version of Mi-38T helicopter helps increasing the functionality and expanding the area of its use.
As for the civil version of Mi-38, at present we are in negotiations with a number of state customers and we expect to deliver the first helicopter in 2019. Together with Rosoboronexport, we have already started promoting Mi-38 to the international market. The helicopter performance allows its employment in any natural and climatic conditions. Potential customers include all operators of Mi-8/17, which face the missions requiring increased load carrying and thrust-to-weight capacity of the helicopter.
Mi-38 is capable to successfully perform missions aimed at improving transport accessibility of regions. This rotorcraft provides an opportunity to organize passenger transportation in the areas, where it is impossible to use fixed-wing aircraft due to environmental and geographical conditions. The helicopter cabin may accommodate up to 30 passengers. There is also a possibility to provide a VIP-cabin layout.
…coaxial helicopters feature smaller dimensions, hence, it is possible to place a larger quantity of helicopters onboard a ship.
Worldwide only KAMOV helicopters are co-axle configuration. Why is it not a popular design?
Coaxial main rotor scheme is a signature of Kamov brand, serial production of these helicopters has been mastered only in Russia. This design gives a range of competitive benefits to this helicopter, especially when it is employed by the Indian Navy. First of all, it facilitates piloting, ensures ideal stability with crosswinds and maneuverability, which is crucial when landing onboard a ship. Moreover, coaxial helicopters feature smaller dimensions, hence, it is possible to place a larger quantity of helicopters onboard a ship.
Is there a possibility of you revitalising the depleted grounded fleet of Mi-26 helicopters of the Indian Air Force? Why did it languish in the first place?
India announced a tender for Mi-26 overhaul, and Russian Helicopters participates in this tender. We have sent our proposals to the Indian party for the extension of airworthiness of Mi-26 helicopters and expect their answer.
…we will provide our partners all the necessary components and technology and we will actively participate in the organization of production in India.
The contract for 200 Kamov 226T helicopters was said to be signed with India in the first quarter of 2018. What is the update on that?
In November 2017 a meeting between the Indian Ministry of Defence and the Russian delegation headed by Rosoboronexport was held, and the representatives of Russian Helicopters Holding Company also attended it. The purpose of that meeting was to address any outstanding issues that may affect issuance of RFP. As of today, all these issues are resolved.
How will you help in localization of Ka-226T in India?
First, we will provide our partners all the necessary components and technology and we will actively participate in the organization of production in India. After that, the production of components from the supplied materials and the assembly of helicopters will commence, which will finally lead us to a complete assembly of helicopters in India.
What other opportunities do you see for Russian Helicopters in India? Are you going to participate in Indian Navy’s NMRH and NUH programmes? Which helicopters will you field in those programmes?
Taking into account the plans for Ka-226T production localization in India, we made a decision to take part in the tender for the supply of light helicopters for the Indian Navy. Our proposal is to place the order at the Russian and Indian joint venture. It is in full compliance with Make in India policy and should ensure the loading and future development of the joint venture. This project also has obvious economic advantages – the Indian side will be able to make more profit from the investments in the JV, support the local producer and significantly save funds, as it will be substantially less expensive to train personnel and perform maintenance of a homogeneous fleet.
What is the update on the upgrade program of Ka-28?
Currently the Holding Company is carrying out overhaul and upgrade of Ka-28 helicopters of the Indian Navy. The rotorcraft shall be fitted with the new avionics enhancing their flight performance. Indian Ka-28 shall receive modern flight and navigation suite and upgraded communication means.
What is the status of the JV with India and when does the manufacturing line for 140 Ka-226T start functioning?
Indo-Russian Helicopters Limited, a Russian and Indian joint venture was registered in May 2017. The JV participants are HAL, Russian Helicopters and Rosoboronexport. To date, JV management has been established, an approval of the Indian Ministry of Defence for payment of charter capital has been received and the Russian party has already paid its part of initial share capital. Also, the MoD identified the production site where the JV shall be situated in the vicinity of Tumkur, near Bangalore.