Procurement: Iran Buys A License To Kill


November 19,2008: After over two years of negotiations, Iran has convinced Russia to provide a license to build fifty (or more) Ka-32 helicopters. This is the civilian version of the military Ka-27, and is a 12 ton aircraft than can carry up to four tons. It can stay in the air about four hours per sortie and cruises at 205 kilometers an hour. The Ka-27 has been used by the Russian navy since the 1970s.

With the ability to manufacture the Ka-32, Iran could easily convert them back to their original Ka-27 military configuration. Iran would have to import most of the Ka-32 components from Russia, and the license would basically allow them to assemble the helicopters in Iran. This would provide Iranians an opportunity to gain experience assembling and maintaining helicopters. Three years ago, Iran began production of the type of engines used in the Ka-32 (but not the specific type needed for a helicopter the size of the Ka-32). Recently, Iran delivered the first license built turboprop transport (a twin engine, 21 ton Antonov 140). There have been quality control problems with this project, but this is the price you pay to acquire high tech manufacturing capabilities.





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