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Russia, China sign agreement on cooperation in developing new heavy helicopter

May 08, 2015, 15:46 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russia and China will cooperate in all efforts to develop the new heavy helicopter, called Advanced Heavy Lift, and its batch production
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© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Metzel

MOSCOW, May 8. /TASS/. The Helicopters of Russia holding company (an affiliate of the Russian Technologies corporation) and the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) have concluded a framework agreement on cooperation in creating a heavy helicopter of the future. The ceremony took place in the Kremlin. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xin Jinping were present at the event. Helicopters of Russia CEO Alexander Mikheyev and AVIC Board of Directors’ President Lin Zuoming inked the agreement. According to the document, Russia and China will cooperate in all efforts to develop the new heavy helicopter, called Advanced Heavy Lift, and its batch production.

"China’s helicopter market is one of the world’s fastest-growing, and we are interested in establishing long-term, all-round strategic relations with China for the development of mutually beneficial cooperation in aircraft-building," Mikheyev said. "It is very important the idea of building a new heavy helicopter has the backing of both countries’ governments. We are certain that the implementation of this project will open up new horizons of cooperation between China and Russia."

Experts estimate China’s potential market at 200 helicopters till 2040. The AHL will have a lift-off mass of 38 tonnes, maximum commercial cockpit payload of 10 tons and the capability to carry 15-ton payload suspended externally. The helicopter should be able to operate in hot climates, in mountain areas and in any weather to perform a variety of missions: carry passengers and cargoes, evacuate people in distress, fight fires and so on.

By now the Helicopters of Russia company and the AVIC have agreed on preliminary terms of reference and go ahead with coordinating the helicopter’s other features. A general contract is due to be signed later this year.

Engine for Russian-Chinese helicopter to be made in Russia, not Ukraine

The engine for a new Russian-Chinese heavy helicopter will be made in Russia, not Ukraine, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Friday following the conclusion of a framework agreement on this project following talks between Russian and Chinese delegations.

Rogozin said the issue of the day was the conclusion of a contract for beginning research into a heavy 38-tonne helicopter.

"Russian engine specialists have achieved a unique solution making Russia independent from foreign providers. The engine for this new helicopter will be created in Russia, not in Ukraine, contrary to what was the case in the past," Rogozin said, adding that the MS-21 plane engine would be used as the basis for a new helicopter power plant.

"This means that the project for building a new heavy helicopter is no longer dependent on any country other than Russia and China," he said, adding that Russia would make its contribution not with cash, but with technologies and know-hows.

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