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Aero India 2021: Russia proceeds with Ka-226T light rotorcraft program

The Russian aerospace industry continues to enhance the capabilities of Kamov Ka-226T light utility helicopter, an industrial source told the TASS news agency on February 3.

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Aero India 2021 Russia proceeds with Ka 226T light rotorcraft program Ka-226T (Picture source: Allocer)

“The Ka-226T project is being modernized, and some viable options for the upgrade of the ready-to-use rotorcraft are being reviewed. The helicopter features high potential for further upgrades, and the platform is not set aside in these terms,” said the source.

The Ka-226T light utility rotorcraft has been developed by Rostec’s Russian Helicopters. It features a coaxial main rotor with no tail rotors; this scheme dramatically increases flight safety and allows an operator to fly the helicopter from relatively small vessels and landing pads in the mountains.

According to the Russian Helicopters, the rotorcraft is designed for operations in high mountains, under hot climatic conditions, and over sea surfaces and for reconnaissance, patrol, monitoring, and transport missions.

Russia and India are cooperating in terms of Ka-226Ts. In 2015, Moscow and New Delhi signed an intergovernmental deal for the delivery of Kamov Ka-226Ts to India and localized manufacturing of the rotorcraft in the country. It stipulates the delivery of 60 Russian-made ready-use helicopters and the in-house production of the remaining 140 rotary-wing platforms. In May 2017, the countries established the Indo-Russian Helicopters Limited (IRHL) joint venture to build the helicopters in India.

It should be mentioned that the rotorcraft has been fully integrated with night vision goggles.The rotorcraft carries a sophisticated sensor suite and an autopilot that provides landings at confined helipads. The platform is fitted with an oxygen suite, an emergency water-landing floating subsystem, and an emergency cargo drop unit. Ka-226 is complemented with an electronic simulator.

India’s move to procure Ka-226T seems to have solid reasons as the helicopter’s coaxial main rotor design fits mountainous environments in the best way. The implementation of the program under the Make in India initiative means that the Indian aerospace industry will shore up its capacities to build light utility helicopters.

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