New Delhi (Sputnik): Having concluded multi-billion dollar deals since last October, the Indian government is likely to begin dwelling upon purchasing 10 Kamov-31 helicopters from Russia later this month for aircraft carrier operations and deployment on future Gregorivich-class warships.
The Kamov Ka-31 Airborne Early Warning and Control helicopter is based on the Ka-27 (Ka-28) design and its development started in 1987.
"The Defence Ministry is scheduled to take up over $500 million proposal for buying around 10 Kamov-31 Airborne Early Warning and Control choppers for the aircraft carrier operations and deployment of future warships of the Gregorovich class," reported Indian news agency ANI, citing government sources.
Russia has supplied a total of 14 Kamov-31 helicopters to the Indian Navy since 2003. The first four were inducted into the Indian Navy in April 2003 and the second batch in 2005.
The helicopter is powered by 2 × Isotov TV3-117VMAR turboshafts generating 1633 kW (2217.7 hp) each driving contra rotating rotors, which allow the helicopters to be stowed on board frigate-sized ships.
Currently stationed on INS Talwar class frigates, Ka-31s will be based on the INS Vikramaditya, Indian Navy's new aircraft carrier. The radar antenna of the helicopter can be folded and stowed under the fuselage during cruising.
The Koryo-A radar, produced by Phazotron NIIR Corporation, gives the Ka-31 the ability to monitor airspace all around it, up to a radius of 250 km. The radar detects and tracks aerial as well as surface threats using an electro-mechanically steered antenna. It can pin-point the geographical locations of the threats with co-ordinates, allowing data linked surface ships (Talwar class frigates, INS Vikramaditya) or airborne aircraft (MiG-29Ks operating from INS Vikramaditya) to engage the targets without turning on their own sensors and giving their position away.
Amid the backdrop of last year's annual summit in October 2018, which witnessed India and Russia sealing a $5.43 billion deal for S-400 air missile and defence systems, the old friends have inked defence deals worth over $7 billion, including the sale of submarines, short range air defence systems, frigates, and assault rifles by Russia to the Indian Armed Forces.