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Russian helicopter firm eyeing contract with India

16.02.2016 / Press Trust of India
A Russian helicopter design and manufacturing company today said it is in discussion with Indian partners to conclude a contract for 200 choppers, more than 140 of which will be made in India under an inter- government pact. 

"We are now discussing terms and conditions for the contract and copter configuration," Igor Chechikov, deputy CEO of Russian Helicopters (RH), told PTI today. 

Sixty of the contracted helicopters will be supplied from RH's existing manufacturing facilities in Russia while planning will be worked out with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and other partners to manufacture more than 140 units, making it one of the biggest investment venture under 'Make in India' initiative. 

The helicopters will be made in India under a pact signed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Moscow in December. 

The choppers will be supplied in collaboration with Rosoboronexport, a state export agency. 

The ongoing discussions include the scope of setting up a helicopter plant in India which will be in partnership with a number of Indian entities including HAL. 

"We expect to produce more helicopters from India, given the country's demand for a wide range of defence and security related equipment," Chechikov said, pointing to the potential of growing the joint venture business as well as technology and knowhow sharing between the two countries. 

India has a fleet of over 450 Russian helicopters operating all of which were supplied over the last three decades in various phases. 

He also stressed on supporting the Russian hardware by establishing an after sales maintenance hub in India in the coming years. 

"India is a very strategic market with a huge demand for helicopters," he said at the Singapore Airshow 2016. 

Russian helicopters are widely used by the Indian air force, navy and border security force. 

RH is showcasing a wide range of its technology-savvy helicopters and aircraft at the air show for the South East Asian markets.
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