China to sign heavy helicopter agreement with Russia soon?

China to sign heavy helicopter agreement with Russia soon?

4-Jan-2016 Source: Rostec

The contract for the creation of the AHL (Advanced Heavy Lift) Russian-Chinese heavy helicopter should be signed with the Chinese company Avicopter in mid-2016, said Dmitry Shugaev, Deputy CEO of Rostec.

“We can say that both sides have a desire to come together and finalize their contractual obligations as well as sign an intergovernmental agreement by the middle of next year. This is the normal timeframe for such a volume of work,” he said. “It will not happen by the end of this year due to objective circumstances.”

According to Alexei Grishin, Rostec’s top representative in China, the two sides came to the conclusion that the most efficient and effective approach would be to sign sub-contracts at the same time as the primary one for the development of the future helicopter’s primary systems and components.

“This, in turn, necessitates a large amount of technical consultations between experts. However, it will also allow us to more accurately estimate the volume of work, its costs, and the level of involvement of each party,” said Alexey Grishin, according to TASS.

He also said that Russia and China are considering the possibility of creating a joint production of the Mi-34 Russian light helicopter in China.

“We are currently at the moment of truth, and we really need to promote our products. This is not just in regard to the supply of finished products, but a question of whether we will do something together. There is a project for the Mi-34 light helicopter. We are now considering the possibility of equipping it with a Chinese engine as well as joint assembly here in China,” said Alexey Grishin.

The leadership of the corporation AVIC has prospectively evaluated the project and concluded that, despite significant competition, the Mi-34 would be very popular.

As may be recalled, the holding Russian Helicopters and the Chinese corporation AVIC (China Aviation Industry Corporation) are jointly developing the future Russian-Chinese AHL heavy helicopter. The two parties signed a framework agreement for cooperation on the project in May 2015.

It is expected that the helicopter will be equipped with a seven-blade main rotor and five-blade tail rotor. The maximum takeoff weight will be 38.2 tons with a practical height limit of 5,700 meters. It will have a range of 630 km and a maximum speed of 300 km/h. The load capacity of the AHL will be 10 tons of cargo inside the cabin and 15 tons on the external sling. Thus, despite the fact that the project is based on the Mi-26, the world’s strongest serially produced helicopter, it will not have a greater load capacity.

In November of this year, Russian Helicopters CEO Alexander MIkheev said that, as part of the framework for creating the AHL, the Russian side would be responsible for creating the helicopter’s transmission and tail rotor system. He said the possibility of creating a helicopter engine for this aircraft based on the PD-14 gas turbine engine was also under consideration.

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