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.
SP deliveries of the LUH should begin at least in 2025, if not 2024. A Ka-226T contract in 2022 would give us the first helicopter in 2024. So the window for one of the Ka-226T's advantages is ending.
But I don't think the IA/IAF plan on sticking with just one helicopter. Even if the LUH ends up coming earlier, there are far too many other factors involved in this decision. One of those is the size of the fleet. While the numbers are an impressive 384 combined, we could see true numbers doubling or even tripling that as the forces get richer. We will likely need 2 squadrons for each division. That could easily take the numbers to 900+. When we are dependent on imports of critical technologies in both helicopters, to the point where none of our suppliers are interested in giving up said critical technologies, it makes sense to diversify supplies.
In the long run, HAL has plans of indigenising helicopter engines, but until that happens, we can't really call our stuff indigenous. Both LUH and Ka-226T are at similar levels of indigenisation, apart from the airframe.