MOSCOW, February 03, 5:00 /ITAR-TASS/. A new high-speed helicoptr is under development in Russia, Vice-Premier Dmitry Rogozin, who is in charge of the defence sector, told the newspaper Izvestia. He said it would be possible to speak of the manufacture of a real air vehicle aftr after research and development (R&D) efforts are completed not later than 2016. The Ministry of Industry and Trade has announced a tender in which it mentions a still shorter R&D timeframe -- 2015. Neither did Rogozin rule out a military application of the prospective advanced air vehicle.
"Work on the project is already under way. The task is to develop up-to-date engines, higher-powered and with a higher efficiency. There will be novel design-and-engineering solutions that will enable the air vehicle to move faster and be more maneuverable. This is a prospective task.... Armament is another matter. There must be a concept, a conceptual design, and solutions that may be adopted as the basis for developing the helicopter. Later on, the military will formulate a way of application," Rogozin told the paper.
According to the bid documentation, the future helicopter must be verssatile, develop a speed of up to 360 km/hr, take on board 21 people or a payload weighing 3.5 tonnes. The helicopter's range of fligthy will be up to 900 km.
One of impottant tadks set to the developers is to secure that the cost of the helicopter's operation is 20-25 percent lower than that of rival air vehicles. Russian manufacturers have gained the appropriate experince, the newspaper writes.
Experts are confident that a high-speed helicopter has got to be a success on the civilian market first.
According to the newspaper's data, foreign producers also make efforts to develop high-speed helicopters. Thus, researchers at the Eurocopter Company are busy developing a helicopter with a cruising speed of 410 km/hr. American helicopter producer Sikorsky/Boeing is preparing a helicopter with a speed of 400 km/hr.