The KA-226T helicopters which are being developed by Indo Russian Helicopter Pvt Ltd (IRHL) will be manufactured at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s (HAL) helicopter plant in Tumakuru in Karnataka. A statement given by the Ministry of Defence said that the facility will function as an independent division of HAL in Biderehalla Kaval, which is located at distance 107 km from Bengaluru. The Government of Karnataka has allocated 610 acres of land for the project. The Indo Russian Helicopter Pvt Ltd (IRHL) is a joint venture cum subsidiary between HAL, Russian Helicopters and Rosoboronexport.
The goal of the joint venture has been to manufacture KA-226T helicopters in India. The capital of the joint venture is estimated to be at Rs 30 crore, with HAL holding shares up to 50.5 percent. 42.5 percent of shares will be held Russian Helicopter and the rest by Rosoboronexport. An MoD release said that the new facility at Tumakuru will be self-contained for production and maintenance of LUHs. The release also said that the cost of the project to cover initial setting up of facilities is expected to be around Rs 2000 crore.
The KA-226T is a powerful, light multirole helicopter. Being developed jointly by Russia and India for India’s armed forces, the helicopter boasts of precise hovering ability and sharp manoeuvring system, making it as an easy helicopter to fly. It is also characterised by its novel environment-friendly feature, high-specs avionics and other safety solutions. The helicopter is powered by 580 h.p FADEC-equipped French engine Arrius 2G. The KA-226T is also capable of operating in temperatures ranging from-50 degree C to +50 degree C and with a relative humidity of 1000%.
The helicopter is suited for patrolling, surveillance and transportation.Reports suggest that IRL is expected to provide over 200 utility helicopters to the Indian defence forces. The terms of the agreement with Russian Helicopter also says that the KA-226T will be exported to other countries.