Russian diplomats told The Hindu that “initially the helicopters will be used to cater to the requirements of the Indian armed forces and only after that will exports happen.”
The helicopter deal was agreed in principle at a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during Putin's December visit to New Delhi. According to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who accompanied Putin on his visit, the agreement stipulates assembling 400 Russian Mi-17 and Kamov-226T helicopters per year.
According to The Hindu, India’s Defense Ministry is currently looking into public and private sectors to choose a partner company from within India. The country’s defense giant Hindustan Aeronautics Limited is named among the companies being considered.
The Mi-17 is a popular Russia medium twin-turbine transport helicopter used in more than 60 countries. The Kamov-226T is a light multipurpose helicopter with the maximum take-off weight of 4,000 tons. The Ka-226T is intended for performing special tasks including cargo and passenger transportation to hard-to-reach mountainous areas as well as rescue and patrol operations.