New Delhi : A Russian helicopter design and manufacturing company is planning to conclude a contract with Indian counterparts 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,” said Igor Chechikov, Deputy CEO of Russian Helicopters (RH).  As one of the biggest investment venture under “Make in India” initiative, 60 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.

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-run export agency.

A number of Indian companies, including HAL, will be in partnership for setting up a helicopter plant in India, said Chechikov, adding. “We expect to produce more helicopters from India, given the country’s demand for a wide range of defence and security related equipment.”

He also pointed to the potential of expanding the joint venture business as well as the possibility of looking at ways to broaden technology and knowhow sharing between the two countries.

In last three decades, Russia has supplied over 450 helicopters in various phases to India. Between 2012 and 2015, Russia delivered 148 out of the 151 helicopters to India.

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

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