SOURCE: The Asian Age

At a time of heightened India- China tensions in eastern Ladakh, Motor Sich a Chinese majority owned company is said to be all set to get a contract to overhaul engines of Indian Air Force’s frontline Mi- 17 V5 helicopters.

The IAF is reported to have pronounced Motor Sich as the lowest bidder or L1 for the contract. The development comes when India has banned Chinese apps and tightened norms for Chinese investment into India on security grounds.

Ukrainian aerospace company Motor Sich is one of the world’s foremost manufacturers of helicopter and airplane engines. However, a controversy broke after Chinese attempt to buy a majority stake in Motor Sich to get hold of its advanced military technology, which was opposed by the US and Ukraine.

According to a Reuters story in August this year, Chinese Investors through Skyrizon hold

around 80 percent of Motor Sich through several foreign companies.

Sources said the defence ministry ( MoD) is set to award a contract for overhauling of VK- 2500- 3 engines of IAF’s Mi- 17 V5 helicopters to Motor Sich.

The Russian helicopters, the original suppliers of the V5 helicopters to India, is said to have written to the IAF on September 28, 2020 that they are represented only through their original equipment manufacturer JSC UEC- Klimov for all overhauling and supply of parts of the said helicopters.

The letter also informed

Indian Air Force that the Russian federation had withdrawn its licenses from Motor Sich in 2018 for the overhauling of the VK 2500 engines. It is alleged that ministry of defence was kept in dark about this development.

It is reported that a delegation of Russians was in New Delhi to ensure the overhauling through JSC UEC Klimov and to invite MoD representative to their St Petersburg facilities to satisfy them about the OEM status, cancellation of license to Motor Sich and the capability for the overhauling of VK 2500 engines.