Russia & China progressing towards AHL joint development

According to the IHS Jane`s defense newspaper, the model received a revised fuselage. The information issued at the show says that the AHL helicopter will have a maximum weight of 38.27 t, an internal/external payload of 10/15 t respectively, a cruise speed of 270 km/h and a maximum flight range of 800 km.

In late August, the CEO of the Rostec state corporation Sergey Chemezov said in an interview with the Chinese Xinhua news agency that the contract for the joint development of the civil heavy helicopter may be signed with the Avicopter company by the year-end. “At present, we are finalizing the terms of the general contract for the development of the helicopter. I expect that this process will be finished before the end of the year, and we will sign the general contract that will define the sharing of works under the program and the relevant executing organizations,” Chemezov said. “The take-off weight of the helicopter may be over 38 t, while payload – 14-15 t. The helicopter will be suitable for usage in hot climate, mountainous terrain and all weather conditions, meeting the requirements of our Chinese colleagues,” he pointed out. According to the head of Rostec, the demand for the new rotor-wing aircraft in China may reach 200 items by 2040.

Chemezov pointed out that the Chinese side is the main developer of the civil heavy helicopter, while the Russian side is performing activities on a contract basis in its area of responsibility in accordance with the sharing of works.

A bilateral agreement on the program of the civil heavy helicopter development was signed in June 2016 during an official visit of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin to the PRC. In February 2017, Russia`s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev approved it.

In accordance with the agreement, the Russian Helicopters holding, a subsidiary of the Rostec state corporation, will invest technologies in the project and develop the technical offer and separate systems of the new aircraft on a contract basis. The Chinese side will handle the program including designing, building of prototypes, conducting of trials, certification, manufacturing, market promotion and overall coordination of works.

The Russian Helicopters holding previously said that the joint development would contribute to the deepening of cooperation in high-technological areas of industry and “shore up friendly ties between Russia and China en masse”. According to the previously issued information, the helicopter will have a maximum take-off weight of 38.2 t, a practical ceiling of 5,700 m, a flight range of 630 km, a maximum speed of 300 km/h, an internal payload of 10 t and an external payload of 15 t.

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