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Ka-226T production begins

Ka-226TThe Kamov Ka-226T certification, which was completed this spring, when the IAC Aviation Registry released Supplementary Certificate ST225-Ka-226/OGI-04 on 30 March 2015, ensured the beginning of the full-rate production and delivery of the type to its launch customers. The key difference between the Ka-226T and earlier-built Ka-226 lies in use of more powerful Turbomeca Arrius 2G1 engines, the advanced VR-226N main gearbox and more sophisticated avionics, which allowed a hefty increase in the helicopter's flight and operational characteristics.

TThe Ka-226T's certification resulted from numerous tests of two flying prototypes and a number of ground-based test rigs since 2009. In spring 2013, the Kumertau Aircraft Production Enterprise (KumAPE), a subsidiary of Russian Helicopters holding company, made the first production Ka-226T in a version tailored for the Russian Emergencies Ministry, followed by three aircraft more in late 2014 through early 2015. According to Kamov's annual report released early this summer, an order was snagged from a Russian governmental customer for three production-standard Ka-226Ts in the fourth quarter of 2014. The helicopters were delivered in early August 2015.

In September 2015, the long-announced plan for the acquisition of Ka-226Ts by the Russian Border Guard were proven. The helicopters are supposed to be used aboard the Border Guard's Project 22460 patrol ships. For the Ka-226Ts to provide fire support, they will be modified to carry pintle-mounted 7.62-mm small arms and night vision goggles and will be given the SLG-300 rescue hoist as well. The first helicopter is due for delivery by April 2017, with the remaining five Ka-226Ts to be shipped before April 2018.

Talks under underway on a contract for 18 Ka-226TG helicopters for Gazprom Avia, into which contract the earlier-placed order for the same number of Ka-226AGs is to be transformed.

On 13 May 2015, the Indian Defence Acquisition Board chaired by Minister of Defence Manohar Parrikar gave a nod to the procurement of two hundred Ka-226T light multirole helicopters for the Indian Air Force and Army Aviation. Some of them are to be made in Russia and the rest license-produced in India.

According to KumAPE's 2014 annual report, the manufacturer's plans provide for the annual output of 15-20 Ka-226T helicopters, with six Ka-226, Ka-226T and Ka-226TG to be built in 2015, nine in 2016 and 16 in 2017.

Published in Take-off magazine, November 2015.

(Photo: Alexey Mikheyev)

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