Russian-Chinese 40-Ton Helicopter to Fly by 2022

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The 40-ton class Advanced Lift Helicopter jointly developed by Russia and China is expected to be delivered by 2032, Wu Ximing, Chinese political advisor and chief designer of helicopters for the Aviation Industry Corporation of China said Thursday.

“Russia is more experienced in the transmission system when it comes to 40-ton class helicopters, as Russia’s Mi-26 is of the 56-ton class. Our goal in the cooperation is to learn from Russia’s strong points and close the gap. China lacks experience in technologies related to the transmission system,” Ximing told Global Times during a press conference.

“As a strategic cooperation project between the two countries, China has now reached agreements with Russia in technology, management and business-related fields,” Ximing said.

China will have a complete helicopter family covering from 500-kilogram class to 40-ton class to satisfy all kinds of needs, the Chinese political advisor added.

“Rostec Corporation is set to sign the deal with China over the 40-ton chopper project soon, after four-year of negotiations,” TASS quoted Viktor Kladov, a Rostec representative, as saying in February.

200 of these choppers will be built in China. “The country is responsible for the helicopter’s design, and production, while Russia would be acting as a technical partner,” Channel RT had reported quoting Kladov as saying in 2017.

The heavy helicopter would have a weight-lift capability of 15 tons, a range of 630 kilometers and a top speed of 300 kilometers an hour, RT reported.

It can usually be used to airlift heavy cargo and vehicles without the need of an airfield. For military use, a heavy helicopter can transport troops, armored vehicles, artillery and rockets. For civilian use, it can lift heavy engineering vehicles to sites where normal transportation routes could not reach in case of a natural disaster, military observers said.