In a bid to establish an equal footing with Western helicopter manufacturers, Russian Helicopters recently made multiple announcements about sales, programs and joint ventures.
Making its Paris Air Show debut is the Russian Helicopters/Kamov Ka-62, a 6,500-kg mtow, 15-passenger helicopter in the same class as the AgustaWestland AW139, Eurocopter EC155 and Sikorsky S-76 series. The mockup made it first appearance on the international show circuit at last year’s Farnborough Air Show.
More than 8,000 Russian rotorcraft are in operation in more than hundred countries around the world–twenty types and around forty variants with major upgrades. Their manufacturer, Russian Helicopters (Hall 2a, Stand C198), which claims it has 14 percent of the world’s fleet, reported a profit of Roubles 9.4 billion ($300 million) in 2012–and a hefty 21 percent rise in revenues, to RUB125.7 billion.
Russia’s defense industry is looking this week’s Aero India show as a platform from which to bounce back from recent defeats in international tender contests.
The Indian Navy is set to receive four additional Kamov Ka-28 anti-submarine warfare and five Ka-31 radar picket helicopters when its new Vikramaditya aircraft carrier is delivered, hopefully by the end of 2013.
Russian Helicopters and Elcom Systems, part of Indian investment conglomerate Sun Group, have signed an agreement to create a factory, in India, for building Russian Helicopters’ Mi- and Ka- brands. The first model to be produced will be the Ka-226T light twin. The joint venture will manufacture “key helicopter units” and perform final assembly. It will even have ground and flight-test capability. Another agreement was reached to create a training organization for pilots and maintenance technicians.
Russian Helicopters has received an order for 18 Ka-226TG light twins from NefteGazAeroCosmos, a gas “research and production center.” Six helicopters are scheduled for delivery next year, with the rest to follow in 2014. The Ka-226TG, a “modernized” version of the in-development Ka-226T, is designed to “meet the client’s needs for operations in the Far North and on the Arctic shelf.” It will feature a KBO-226TG avionics suite for low-visibility operations, and additional fuel tanks. It retains Turbomeca Arrius 2G1 turboshafts.
Russian Helicopters has received an order for 18 Ka-226TG light twins from NefteGazAeroCosmos, a “research and production center” linked to Russian oil and gas giant Gazprom. Six helicopters are scheduled for delivery next year and the remaining dozen in 2014.
Russian Helicopters unveiled a full-size mockup of the reworked Kamov Ka-62 medium twin at the HeliRussia 2012 show in Moscow in May.
Russian Helicopters’ production is on the up and the company is modernizing its factories in anticipation of this trend continuing.
Between 2004 and 2011, the company tripled production, from 85 to 262 helicopters, and last year its revenues from both civil and military rotorcraft grew 40 percent, to RUB120 billion ($4 billion).
Claiming a global market share of 14 percent by aircraft value, Andrei Reus, Russian Helicopters chairman and director general of parent company Oboronprom, ranks Russian Helicopters “third by global sales” behind Sikorsky and Eurocopter.
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