India has dropped a planned purchase of 48 Russian Mi-17 V5 helicopters in favor of local production, India today revealedciting sources.
The media pointed out that the decision was taken before the war broke out in Ukraine and is not related to it.
However, the Indian publication Economic period reported earlier there were fears in India that the war would have a “medium to long term” impact on the aircraft’s maintenance, as most of its “key engine parts” were sourced from Ukrainian manufacturers.
Aboriginal replacement project
The outlet cited unnamed officials who revealed that India was accelerating an indigenous version of the Kazan helicopter, jointly developed by state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and a private company that has no yet been decided.
According to the outlet, the indigenous aircraft will be built under the Indian Medium Role Helicopter program, launched to replace the Russian-origin Mi series of Indian military aircraft with a domestic version.
HAL has completed preliminary design work on the aircraft and is expected to develop a prototype in seven years.
The initial cost of the project is pegged at around $1.44 billion and an additional $1.5 billion once it enters production. India has expressed a need for more than 500 devices, according to the outlet.