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SOURCE: Jane’s Defence Weekly

India is fast-tracking negotiations to acquire 10 Russian-made Kamov Ka-31 ‘Helix’ airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) helicopters in time for the expected commissioning in 2021 of Vikrant , the Indian Navy’s (IN’s) indigenously designed aircraft carrier.

Official sources told Jane’s on 20 March that the IN wants to “imminently” finalise the Ka-31 import, which was approved by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in May 2019 for an estimated INR36 billion (USD478.8 million), given that up to four of the AEW&C platforms are expected to be embarked on the 37,750-tonne carrier.

IN officers said Vikrant aims to field its full air complement of Russian-made MiG-29K/KUB ‘Fulcrum’ fighters and rotary-wing platforms by 2022.