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RYBINSK, May 23. /TASS/. Russian Helicopters rotocraft manufacturer and energy giant Gazprom have signed a letter of intent to develop the sea-bound version of the Mil Mi-171A2 helicopter for offshore hydrocarbon deposit projects, the Russian Helicopters press office reported on Tuesday.
"Russian Helicopters Holding Company and the energy company Gazprom have signed a letter of intent to develop sea-bound helicopters of the Mi-171A2 type. These rotocraft will be used for developing deposits on the continental shelf in the interests of Gazprom. The document was signed by Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller and Russian Helicopters First Deputy CEO Sergei Fomin," the press office reported.
Under the agreement, enterprises within Russian Helicopters Holding Company will develop design documentation for the Mi-171A2 offshore modification and set up a facility for the assembly, tests and maintenance of these rotocraft.
"On its part, Gazprom has confirmed as part of the concluded agreement its intention to buy Mi-171A2 helicopters in their offshore modification and to place orders with enterprises of Russian Helicopters Holding Company for all types of repair and maintenance works," the press office said.
This agreement "will lay the basis for concluding firm contracts and further developing cooperation with partners from the oil and gas sector," the Russian Helicopters executive said.
The Mi-171A2 is the most advanced version of the family of Mi-8/17 helicopters. The machine is furnished with the KBO-17 integrated onboard digital flight and navigation system, which allows operating the helicopter without the presence of an engineer in the crew.
The Mi-171A2 can be effectively used in the high mountainous terrain amid high temperatures and increased humidity. The onboard flight and navigation equipment helps operate the helicopter day and night in simple and harsh weather conditions and also above water.