NEW DELHI --- Russian President Vladimir Putin has finally given the go ahead for setting up an Indo-Russian joint venture for production of Kamov military helicopters for India under a $1 billion deal inked in 2015.
In October last year, India and Russia had finalised a broad agreement for the JV between Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and two Russian defence majors.
HAL, Russian Helicopters and Rosoboronexport will sign an MoU to complete the formalities for setting up the joint venture, Defence Ministry sources said.
They said 60 Kamov-226T helicopters will be supplied to India in fly-away condition, while 140 will be manufactured in India.
Once the joint venture has been set up, the Indian government can start interaction with the board members of the new entity on the depth of technology, technology transfer, exact number of choppers to be produced in India and other key issues, said a top official involved in the project.
The inter-government agreement was signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Russia in December, 2015.
Last year in October, Russian Helicopters, Rosoboronexport and HAL Corporation had almost completed the formalities for the joint venture to localise the production of Ka-226Ts and deliver them to the Indian market.
When the JV is registered, it can negotiate the terms with customers and parent companies.
The schedule of delivery and localisation as well as the terms and the number of units will be up to the JV to finalise.
India is procuring Kamov choppers to replace its ageing Cheetah and Chetak helicopters.