India at Russian chopper conference this month

Report & Photo(s): By SP's Special Correspondent August 21, 2013

India will participate in the third International Russian Helicopters Operators Conference (IRHOC-2013) during the MAKS 2013 air show and exhibition from August 26-28 in Moscow. India is among 40 countries that operate Russian-built helicopters, across 200 operators both government and private. The conference comes on the back of a rough ride for Russia in India as far as rotorcraft are concerned.

Late last year, Russia lost out on two big deals—the IAF's 22 attack helicopter competition and 15 heavy-lift helicopter competition—both to the US firm Boeing Defense. However, it is keen to shore up orders of the Mi-17 V5, which India is actively considering. Russia is also awaiting a decision on the Indian reconnaissance and surveillance helicopter (RSH) competition, where the Ka-226T Sergei squares off against the Eurocopter EC 550 C3 Fennec. In a statement, Russian Helicopters Co. has said, "The conference will discuss current issues regarding operating Russian helicopters and maintaining airworthiness, after-sales service and progress on the development of new helicopter technologies. IRHOC-2013 will help boost international dialogue between the producer and helicopter operators, address current issues and push forward the search for and introduction of new after-sales service solutions for Russian-built helicopters around the world."