Procurement: India Orders Lots of the New Blackhawkski

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June 14, 2007: India has ordered 200 of the new Russian, 6.5 ton Ka-62 transport helicopters. This new design can carry 2.7 tons, which can include 14 passengers (or ten fully equipped infantry). Like the Mi8, the Ka-62 can also be equipped with weapons. The Ka-62 will be easier to maintain, safer to operate and more reliable than the earlier Mi-8. First flight of the Ka-62 will take place next year. Deliveries to India won't take place for about five years. Some 80 percent of the helicopters will be built in India. But many of the components will come from Russia. The Ka-62 will cost nearly as much as the UH-60 (about six million dollars each)

The Ka-62 is a replacement for its 40 year old Mi-8 (export versions are called Mi17) transport helicopter. The Mi8 is about twice the size and weight of the American UH-1, but only hauls about 50 percent more cargo (about 2.6 tons). However, the Mi-8 has a larger interior, and can carry 24 troops, versus a dozen in the UH-1. The UH-1 was replaced by the UH-60 in the 1980s, while the Mi-8 just kept adding better engines and electronics to the basic Mi-8 frame. The UH-60, while weighing as much as the UH-1 (4.8 tons), could carry as much as the 12 ton Mi-8. Most importantly, the Mi-8 costs about half as much as a UH-60, and the larger interior is popular with many users. Nearly 3,000 Mi17s have been exported. The Ka-62 will be more like an oversized UH-60 Blackhawk, and the Russians hope to achieve as much export success as they did with the Mi-8.

 


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