HAL LUH / Ka-226: News and Discussions


The modernized Kamov-226T Climber light helicopter, which is being developed by Russian Helicopters (a part of Rostec State Corporation), will fly abroad for the first time during the up-coming Dubai Air Show 2021 between November 14-18.

The Ka-226T Climber was presented at the Russian international aerospace show, MAKS-2021, outside Moscow in summer. On the eve of the Dubai Airshow 2021 the helicopter made its maiden flight.

The Kamov-226T is one of two helicopters that is slated to meet the Indian military’s urgent need for 394 light helicopters. Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has entered into a joint venture with Russian Helicopters to build 197 Kamov-226T helicopters in India. Separately, HAL intends to manufacture 187 LUH – which includes 126 for the army and 61 for the IAF.

For building the Kamov-226T in India, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government signed an inter-governmental agreement (IGA) with Russia in 2015. This concession, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreed to at the personal request of Russian President Vladimir Putin, spared Russian Helicopters from competitive tendering.

“The modernized Ka-226T is the first helicopter in Russia to be manufactured according to digital design documentation. This initiative made it possible to significantly reduce time for building the machine and to start flight tests in a short time. At the end of this week, the updated Ka-226T will debut at international exhibitions as part of Dubai Airshow 2021, and we are confident that it will arouse genuine interest among foreign customers due to its excellent flight performance, allowing it to operate at altitudes up to 6.5 kilometers,” said a Rostec aviation official.

Thanks to its key feature – adaptability to high altitude flights – the modernized Ka-226T has been given the operating name "Climber".

HAL’s LUH, however, boasts an equally impressive ability to climb to altitudes above 6 km, thanks to its Indo-French Shakti engine.

The Ka-226T’s airframe features a new design made from modern lightweight materials that has significantly improved aerodynamics compared with previous Ka-226 models. The fuselage has improved aerodynamics and is. The new version of the Ka-226T has a new rotor head, blades, and main gearbox, as well as a shockproof emergency-resistant fuel system that meets increased safety requirements.

The helicopter is also fitted with new pilot navigation and radio communication equipment. As an option, it can be fitted with oxygen equipment, ballonets, air conditioning and heating systems.

According to Russian Helicopters, the signature Kamov coaxial rotor design gives the Ka-226T good controllability in thin air, resistance to strong side winds, a high rate of climb and the ability to take off and land on sites located at high altitudes.

The helicopter is claimed to be highly effective when flying over water surfaces. It can take off and land on the deck of even small marine vessels, says Russian Helicopters.

“The aircraft is characterized by low vibration level, ease and simplicity of operation, ability to take off and land on minimum size grounds (including urban infrastructure), high accuracy of hovering even when working with cargo on the external sling, and safe passenger boarding with working rotors,” said a Russian Helicopters media release.

Commercial manufacture of the upgraded Ka-226T helicopter is scheduled to begin in 2022 at the Ulan-Ude aviation plant. It remains to be seen when, or whether, it will be manufactured in India.
 
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No, that's how long an LSP process takes. People underestimate LSP way too much, to the point where it's completely ignored, to the point they forget that it's actually part of the development process. FOC is needed for numbers, and that happens only after the LSP finishes delivery.

In the first year, they deliver just 2 units. In the LUH's case, since it's 2 clients, HAL delivers 4. The rest happen the following year. In case changes are necessary, the entire program is delayed. If not, it enters the IOC delivery phase. The program can be stopped here too, if changes are necessary. Development still continues until FOC. But, for the LUH, since the forces have already got the chopper tested all the way to FOC, problems won't show up in its design. But the helicopter has to go through the motions during production since problems found then should not be transferred to the FOC choppers. Even if your design's good, the production process can introduce faults, like it happened with the EF Typhoon. The LSP and IOC are needed to flush out those problems.

Anyway, HAL is handling both projects. Why would they sabotage their own flagship project? They would rather build only LUH. Actually, there is greater fear of the opposite happening.
 
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No, that's how long an LSP process takes. People underestimate LSP way too much, to the point where it's completely ignored, to the point they forget that it's actually part of the development process. FOC is needed for numbers, and that happens only after the LSP finishes delivery.

In the first year, they deliver just 2 units. In the LUH's case, since it's 2 clients, HAL delivers 4. The rest happen the following year. In case changes are necessary, the entire program is delayed. If not, it enters the IOC delivery phase. The program can be stopped here too, if changes are necessary. Development still continues until FOC. But, for the LUH, since the forces have already got the chopper tested all the way to FOC, problems won't show up in its design. But the helicopter has to go through the motions during production since problems found then should not be transferred to the FOC choppers. Even if your design's good, the production process can introduce faults, like it happened with the EF Typhoon. The LSP and IOC are needed to flush out those problems.

Anyway, HAL is handling both projects. Why would they sabotage their own flagship project? They would rather build only LUH. Actually, there is greater fear of the opposite happening.
Would we see any Laser/IR countermeasures system on this for the FoC version?
There certainly are weight restrictions but it/laser guided MANPADs are its greatest threats.
 
Would we see any Laser/IR countermeasures system on this for the FoC version?
There certainly are weight restrictions but it/laser guided MANPADs are its greatest threats.

This class isn't meant to operate under fire. Only multirole helicopters carry EW suites.

An armed version could be made, like a Lancer replacement. But we already have Rudra.
Or a specialised version can be made. Although the Dhruv Mk3 fills that role already.

I suppose these helicopters are only gonna be used as mules.
 
Instead, there might be off-the-shelf purchases of some of the Ka-226T military choppers as the Indian Air Force needs to make immediate replacements to its fleet of over 320 aging helicopters.

 
Instead, there might be off-the-shelf purchases of some of the Ka-226T military choppers as the Indian Air Force needs to make immediate replacements to its fleet of over 320 aging helicopters.


Yeah, this deal going the MMRCA way would be fine. It was supposed to happen before LUH was ready. It's gonna be meaningless if it comes after LUH.

I suppose a GTG of 40-60 should do the trick for the mountains.
 
Yeah, this deal going the MMRCA way would be fine. It was supposed to happen before LUH was ready. It's gonna be meaningless if it comes after LUH.

I suppose a GTG of 40-60 should do the trick for the mountains.

It's close to meaningless already..
But that may not deter our orders!!!
 
It's close to meaningless already..
But that may not deter our orders!!!

The helicopter isn't meaningless, or the army wouldn't be pushing for it.

While a twin-engine modular utility helicopter is definitely useful to the forces, there are a lot of industrial and political benefits with this deal. The forces will get three independent supply chains, 2 in India (LUH, Ka-226T) and 1 in Russia. It creates a new export option, HAL can participate with two helicopters in one international tender with two complementary helicopters in this class. HAL will be forced to improve on the quality of their own designs, particularly in the future when next gen helicopters come into the picture. There's potential infusion of a new type of technology that the HAL has no experience with. And so on.

But this requires sufficient transfer of tech. If the Russians refuse it, then it becomes meaningless.
 
The helicopter isn't meaningless, or the army wouldn't be pushing for it.

While a twin-engine modular utility helicopter is definitely useful to the forces, there are a lot of industrial and political benefits with this deal. The forces will get three independent supply chains, 2 in India (LUH, Ka-226T) and 1 in Russia. It creates a new export option, HAL can participate with two helicopters in one international tender with two complementary helicopters in this class. HAL will be forced to improve on the quality of their own designs, particularly in the future when next gen helicopters come into the picture. There's potential infusion of a new type of technology that the HAL has no experience with. And so on.

But this requires sufficient transfer of tech. If the Russians refuse it, then it becomes meaningless.

We should have bought 5 years back..Not when LUH proved itself & orders are also already placed.

Anyways I don't believe we ll sign the deal soon.

With large Tumkur facility, it's only matter of SP orders.
 
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Climber do not change the engine but only incremental changes. Their engine is yet to test fly.

France will definitely not selling the engines to Russia. And if we are looking for off the shelf thing, how is it going to proceed ?

The UPG saw incorporation of western sensitive items in India after aircrafts got their work done in Russia.

How is it supposed to proceed?
 
Climber do not change the engine but only incremental changes. Their engine is yet to test fly.


Yeah, the Russian engine is set for certification only in 2023. Our version will obviously have finished the finalisation of the configuration years ago. But then, if the Russians end up offering their engine instead, we may end up back to square one, but the ToT agreement will be much better. Anyway, it's a longshot, likely impossible.