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08:00 AM, September 18, 2017
China, Russia in Final Stages of Talks for Joint Production of Heavy-lift Helicopter
China, Russia to co-develop heavy-lift helicopter

Aviation Industry Corp of China (AVIC) and Russian Helicopters are close to inking an agreement for the joint development and production of a heavy-lift helicopter.

“Our talks are in the final stage. The helicopter will be jointly developed and manufactured. The research, development and assembly will be in China, while the production of some key parts will be in Russia,” Huang told reporters on the sidelines of the 2017 China Helicopter Development Forum in Tianjin on Monday.

Huang said the new helicopter’s technologies will be unique compared with other heavy-lift models in the world because it will be designed completely in accordance with China’s requirements and geographic conditions.

“China has multiple landforms including plateaus, mountainous regions and plains, so the helicopter must be able to operate in every landform. Foreign helicopters have not met our needs, especially those in plateaus and mountains,” he said.

“It will be capable of taking 10 metric tons of cargo, or more than 100 people inside the cabin, or carry 15 tons of freight in an external sling. By comparison, the AC313, currently the strongest type, can carry four tons inside the cabin or lift five tons outside the body,” he said.

According to AVIC, the helicopter will have a maximum takeoff weight of 38.2 metric tons and a maximum cruising speed of 300 kilometres per hour. It will be capable of flying at altitudes up to 5,700 metres and have a range of 630 km.

Currently, heavy-lift helicopters in use include the United States’ Boeing CH-47 Chinook, the Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion and Russia’s Mil Mi-26 series. The US and Russia continue to upgrade these types and aspire to maintain their dominance of the heavy-lift helicopter market, observers said.

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