India Has Approved Proposal to Buy 10 Kamov-31 AEW Helicopters for the Navy
NEW DELHI, India (BulgarianMilitary.com) – The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) headed by Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman has recently approved the Rs 3,600 crore ($5,198,400,000) proposal to buy 10 Kamov-31 AEW Helicopters from Russia for the Indian Navy, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
The Kamov Ka-31 (NATO reporting name ‘Helix’) is a military helicopter developed for the Soviet Navy and currently in service in Russia, China and India in the naval airborne early warning and control role.
As with all Kamov helicopters except the Ka-60/-62 family, the Ka-31 has co-axially mounted contra-rotating main rotors. The airframe of the Ka-31 is based on the Kamov Ka-27. One visually distinctive feature of the Ka-31 is the large antenna of the early-warning radar, which is either rotating or folded and stowed under the fuselage.
The second is the reduction of the bulky electro-optical sensory suite beneath the cockpit. The landing gear retracts in order to prevent interference with the radar.
These helicopters are critical for the Indian Navy as they will help in increasing the radar coverage and will act as an extra set of eyes. The radars onboard the ships have a limited ‘horizon’, which are not able to track low-flying targets, in particular, anti-ship missiles.
In 1999, the Indian Navy had ordered the Ka-31 AEW helicopters and they were deployed on board the INS Viraat aircraft carrier and other ships. There have been follow-on orders and so far there are around 14 Ka-31 helicopters in service of the Indian Navy.