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28 Dec, 2016 14:47

1st naval Ka-226 modular light helicopter produced in Russia

1st naval Ka-226 modular light helicopter produced in Russia

The first Kamov Ka-226 helicopter designed for deployment at ships has been produced this year in Russia. The version with foldable rotors is meant for the Russian border guards and potentially the navy.

The Ka-226 is a light, highly-maneuverable multipurpose helicopter featuring the signature twin rotor of the Kamov rotorcraft, which eliminates the need for a tail rotor. Derived from the design of the Ka-26, the helicopter has interchangeable pods for passenger transportation, medical evacuation, air patrol and other types of mission.

The ‘TM’ version is the latest for the helicopter. Like the ‘T’ model, the Ka-226TM has a French power plant more powerful than the one used in the basic design, but adds the foldable rotors necessary for naval aviation.

The Federal Security Service (FSB), which among other things is responsible for protecting Russia’s borders, planned to buy at least 10 Ka-226TM for their coast guard ships. There is also a strong export potential for the rotorcraft, says its producer, which rolled out the first helicopter of this model in 2016.

“This year our plant produced its first naval Ka-226T light helicopter,” said Aleksandr Mikheev, the head of Russian Helicopters holding, while touring the Kumertau plant in Bashkortostan, where the advanced helicopters are built.

“We expect high demand for it for it from our Russian and foreign customers interested in using it for coast guard and other law enforcement missions. We estimate that this helicopter has large export potential,” he added as cited by the company’s website.

Ka-226s are used in Russia by both civilian operators and the military. India also placed a substantial order for its armed forces.

The first helicopter of the basic design made its maiden flight in 1997, while later variants came in the 2010s.