Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Russian Kamov helicopters' 'Make in India' price 2.5 times more that original cost

The price of Kamov light-utility choppers to be built in India is coming out to be almost 2.5 times the cost of the 60 such helicopters that would be built in Russia and supplied to the Indian Army and Air Force, for operations in high altitude areas such as Siachen and Ladakh.
The issue over price and transfer of technology are slowing the deal which the armed forces require urgently to be completed to replace their vintage fleet of Cheetah and Chetak choppers for critical operations.
Under a Indo-Russian governmental agreement, India is buying 200 Kamov 226 T helicopters of which 60 would be built in Russia and supplied directly to the forces while the remaining 140 would be manufactured in a joint venture between Kamov and HAL along with a private sector partner.
"During negotiations with the Russian side, it has come out that the cost of the 140 choppers to be built in India would be around 2.5 times the cost of the first 60 helicopters. There are certain issues over this in the acquisition wing," Defence sources told MAIL TODAY.
The progress of the deal may come up for discussion during the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow planned early next month.
However, senior ministry officials said Make in India comes at a heavy cost as investments have to be made to create a new facility and manpower has to be trained along with acquisition of land for the new set up.
The government had selected HAL as a partner but later on it also thought of including a private sector partner for the joint venture company to promote private participation in defence but this is going to add further cost to the programme, the sources said.
23/05/17 Ajit Kumar Dubey/India Today