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.