Oct 11, 2012
Aerospace Diary is hearing about talks between India’s Sun Group and Russian Helicopters for Ka-31 which Russian Helicopters says, is “the only mass-produced airborne early warning helicopter on the market.”
We could not confirm whether the partnership is for potential manufacture for a possible pilot project to be floated exclusively for private Indian companies or as offsets for a possible potential order for 10 AEWs required for the delayed aircraft carrier Gorshkov , now known as Vikramaditya.
Interestingly, we learn Shiv Vikram Khemka, deputy chairman of the Board of Directors and founder of SUN Group, is an independent non-executive director on the Board of Russian Helicopters. Khemka has over 20 years experience doing business and investing in Russia, Latin America and India. He has lived and worked in Moscow since 1990 managing the business of SUN Group. Khemka does not own any shares in Russian Helicopters.
The Indian Navy uses several versions of the Kamov including Ka-28 and Ka-31. The Navy had ordered nine AEWs, all of which were delivered by 2005 and grounded within two years of service for a while following defect in airframes. Parts were then difficult to procure. The matter seems to have been resolved now.