Rostec Corporation, the parent company of Russian Helicopters has announced the launch of a new engine project to power the KA-226T helicopter, which has been selected to be manufactured in India.
The St. Petersburg Klimov- UEC company, a member of the Rostec Corporation, has begun the development of a new VK-650V gas turbine turboshaft engine.
The Indo-Russian joint venture between Russian Helicopters and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited has plans to manufacture over 100 helicopters in India for the armed forces and possibly civil customers.
This power plant has a take-off power of 650 h.p., and also in various modes gives out from 400 to 750 h.p. It is designed for the Ka-226T helicopter. Only the Russian-made parts and assembly units will be used for serial production of VK-650V.
The power plant should be certified after four years according with the plans, and design documentation for the demonstrator engine and its systems, including automatic control systems, will be issued by the end of 2019, Rostec said in a statement last week.
“The main challenge facing designers is to create a simple and reliable design with a minimum life cycle cost. Based on the design solutions that are embedded in this engine, a family of power plants with a capacity of 500 to 700 h.p. can be created,” Rostec said.
VK-650V embodies modern technical solutions that meet the latest trends in world and domestic aircraft engine manufacturing. The new engine should surpass all available analogues in its characteristics.
The current versions of the KA-226T (both military and civilian versions) are powered by 2 х Arrius 2G1 engines sourced from Safran of France developing 705 h.p. power.
Russia has been having problems with sourcing Western parts and components owing to sanctions imposed on it by the United States and some of European countries. Its MC-21 airliner project which has a considerable western components, is facing problems with US based suppliers blocking crucial components.
While engines were a traditional weak area for Russian aerospace firms, recent developments such as engines for the MiG and Sukhoi range of fighter jets, Ilyushin military transports and Mil, Ka series helicopters have shown a dramatic improvement in performance and reliability.