Last week Iraq took delivery of the first batch of Mil helicopters from the Rostvertol factory. Four Mi-35Ms were delivered to Iraq, their arrival being announced by Iraqi prime minister Nouri Al-Maliki. Iraqi managers, crews and technicians have been training at the Russian army’s Torzhok center, with the first group completing its course in late September. Following the delivery of the initial batch will be at least two more Mi-35Ms, and a sizeable batch of Mil Mi-28NE Night Hunter attack helicopters.
Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant
Military cooperation between Russia and Middle East will certainly be boosted with the recent appointment of Alexander Mikheyev, formerly deputy general manager at arms vendor Rosoboronexport, as the general manager at the Russian Helicopters holding company (Chalet C9). The decision was made on September 24, and is understood to be a move aimed at boosting sales of Russian military helicopters in the global market.
Russian Helicopters’ Ansat light twin helicopter was certified late last week by Russia’s Aviation Register of the Interstate Aviation Committee, albeit with conventional flight controls in lieu of the original fly-by-wire (FBW) system.
Rosoboronexport reported a new Indian order for 12 Mil Mi-17V5 helicopters at the Aero India show this week amid hopes that some 200 of them could eventually be sold to India. To date, Russian Helicopters has delivered 36 of the 80 machines that were ordered in 2008 in a deal worth more than $1.3 billion. Deliveries to the Indian Air Force commenced in 2011. The latest order comprises three in VIP transport configuration, and nine for the Indian Coast Guard.
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.
A UTAir crew will be honored on Monday with the Sikorsky Humanitarian Award for rescuing UN peacekeepers from enemy fire in the Congo. The honor is “presented to the person(s) who best demonstrate(s) the value of helicopters to society by saving lives, protecting property and aiding those in distress.”
According to a Russian source, UTAir has partially resumed Mil Mi-26T flights. On December 20, the operator grounded its fleet of heavy twins for tail-boom inspections after a fatal accident in the Khanty Mansi region–one of UTair’s Mi-26 heavy twins landed hard, rolled and caught fire, killing one crewmember and injuring the other five. There were no passengers aboard.
The Mil Mi-26T2 upgrade made its debut at the Moscow Air Show (MAKS 2011), demonstrating its higher power-weight ratio and better handing characteristics in the flight display.
A partial flotation of state-owned Russian Helicopters on the London and Moscow stock markets was postponed last week after potential investors failed to subscribe. The joint stock company’s major shareholder, Oboronprom, was offering new and existing shares exceeding $500 million, implying a total value for the company of between $1.8 billion and $2.4 billion. This was the first such offer of a company in Russia’s defense industry.
Russia “hearts” helicopters. That was the message from the Moscow-based Helicopter Industry Association of Russia (HIAR) at its press conference at Heli-Expo 2011 yesterday.
Four of Russia’s leading helicopter operators: UTair, Vertical-T, Pahn Helicopters and Aviashelf provided proof with a snapshot of their operations, opportunities and challenges.
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