Russian Helicopters, a subsidiary of Oboronprom, part of State Corporation Rostec and a leading global designer and manufacturer of helicopters, and Colombia's Vertical de Aviacion today signed agreements for five Mi-171A1s and five Ka-62s at the MAKS 2013 International Aviation and Space Salon.
Vertical de Aviacion plans to deploy the Mi-171A1s in Mexico for cargo and passenger flights, while the Ka-62s will be used in Colombia to service the oil industry. Deliveries of the Mi-171A1s are expected to start in 2015, and of the Ka-62 in 2016.
"Latin America is a fast-growing market where we see a great deal of potential. Rostec has seven offices in the region - in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela - and we are continuing to expand our presence in the region to open up new markets," said Dmitry Shugaev, Deputy CEO of Rostec. "South America has been a customer for Russian-built helicopters for many years, and the signing of new agreements underscores that Russian military and commercial equipment is in high demand across Latin America even given intense competition fr om leading global producers."
As part of the contracts signed today, Russian Helicopters and Vertical de Aviacion will work together on certification of the Mi-171A1 in Mexico and the Ka-62 in Colombia. In 2012 Colombian aviation authorities successfully completed validation of the Mi-171's type certification by the Aviation Register of the Interstate Aviation Committee. Vertical de Aviacion was actively involved in this process.
Based at Bogota's El Dorado International Airport, Vertical de Aviacion is Latin America's largest commercial operator of Mi-8/17 series helicopters, and currently operates 30 Mi-17s.
The medium multirole Mi-171A1 is based on the Mi-171 and is part of the legendary Mi-8/17 series. It can carry up to 26 passengers or 4,000 kg of cargo, and is produced at Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant, a Russian Helicopters company.
The Mi-171A1 has operated successfully for several years in Latin America. In 2005 the helicopter's type certification was approved by the Brazilian Aeronautical Register, and in the same year the first machine was delivered to Brazilian company Atlas Táxi Aéreo, which in 2011 received two more of the helicopters. Deployed in demanding environmental conditions to support drilling operations being carried out by Petrobras in the Brazilian rainforest, the Mi-171A1 stands out for its dependability and efficiency.
International interest has been running high for some time in Russian Helicopters' most eagerly anticipated new model, the medium multirole Ka-62, which will be produced at Progress Arsenyev Aviation Company in Russia's Far East. Russian Helicopters signed the first export contract for seven Ka-62s in December 2012 with Atlas Táxi Aéreo. The contract for five machines signed today with Vertical de Aviacion is further confirmation of the high levels of international interest in acquiring the latest Russian-built helicopters.
At MAKS 2013 the Ka-62 is on display in prototype form as part of Russian Helicopters' static display. As well as passenger transport and rescue operations, it can be deployed in the oil and gas sector. Thanks to a roomy and comfortable cabin that can hold up to 15 people, the helicopter is ideally suited for corporate purposes. In addition, the Ka-62 has high cruising speed and low vibration levels, and in terms of range and load is already recognised as one of the best helicopters in its class.
Testing of the Ka-62 is planned to start in 2013, and in 2015 and 2016 Russian Helicopters expects it to obtain certification for international use, including in Colombia, where more than 50 Russian-built helicopters currently operate in the private and state sectors.
The agreement with Vertical de Aviacion is the latest step in Russian Helicopters' successful development of the South American market, wh ere demand for multirole helicopters is increasing. This is a key region for the development of the helicopter business, and Russian Helicopters is ready to meet growing demand from Latin American markets for the latest helicopters.
Source: Russian Helicopters and Vertical de Aviacion sign deal for 10 helicopters at MAKS 2013
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