Commercial, Products

Russian Helicopters

By Staff Writer | January 1, 2013

Emercom Ka-226T.

Russian Helicopters is a leading player in the global helicopter industry, and one of the few firms anywhere in the world with the capability to design, manufacture, test and service advanced models of civilian and military helicopters.

From its headquarters in Moscow, Russian Helicopters manages assets across the country — five assembly plants, two design bureaus, two components manufacturers, an overhaul plant and a service company providing aftersales care to customers around the world. Russian Helicopters companies include some of the most recognizable names in the helicopter world, such as the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant and the Kamov design bureau.


Russian Helicopters was established in 2007 to consolidate and streamline Russia’s many world-famous helicopter enterprises, some with long and distinguished histories dating back more than 60 years. The enormous depth of knowledge and expertise accumulated through these enterprises’ years of experience is one of the greatest assets of Russian Helicopters today.

Russian Helicopters is part of UIC Oboronprom, a diversified industrial and investment group that manages assets in the high-tech and engineering sectors. Oboronprom in turn is part of Russian Technologies State Corporation, which supports Russian industry in the development, production and export of high-tech industrial products for civil and military use.

Kamov Ka-62.

Advanced Technologies

Russian Helicopters produces an extensive range of civil and military helicopters for a diversified international client base. The company puts its customers’ requirements at the heart of its operations, and focuses on creating a product that keeps operating costs low while adhering to the highest standards of safety and reliability. This focus on delivering exceptional value for money has brought clear benefits, with Russian Helicopters’ book of firm orders growing significantly despite the troubled economic climate, to reach 921 units — a total value of more than 460 billion rubles (about U.S.$15 billion) — as of the end of 1H 2012. That’s more than three times the number of helicopters the company delivered in 2011.

The company also seeks to increase the reliability and economic efficiency of its helicopters by investing in the latest advanced materials and components, often in collaboration with leading companies around the world. Polymeric composite materials are one area that Russian Helicopters views as particularly promising, and they already comprise more than 50 percent of the airframe and propellers of the Ka-62.

The Ka-62 — a single-rotor design with an enclosed tail rotor — is an excellent example of the benefits of Russian Helicopters’ collaborative approach, as it can be fitted with two Turbomeca Ardiden 3G engines, which deliver exceptionally low fuel consumption, and a glass cockpit made by Transas, the global manufacturer of advanced navigation systems. This model also epitomizes Russian Helicopters’ dedication to making its helicopters as resilient and adaptable as possible: like most of the company’s models, it can operate in a variety of climatic conditions and withstand a wide range of temperatures. The Ka-62 can fly numerous different mission types, from cargo transportation to medevac and search-and-rescue operations, and is also suitable for use in the oil and gas sector and for corporate purposes.

Firefighting Ka-32A11BC.

Global Footprint

In addition to dominating in its home country and CIS markets, Russian Helicopters also sees high demand for its helicopters from fast-growing markets in South and Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region. Helicopters are popular not only among traditional customers such as emergency and rescue services, but also with companies for corporate transportation purposes. Because of their versatility and high adaptability to different challenges, helicopters are equally valuable to an oil and gas company taking workers to an offshore platform and to busy executives looking to cut down their transit time in and around traffic-choked cities. Russian Helicopters continued to concentrate on these key high-growth markets in 2012. In Latin America, the company has established a footprint in Argentina — two Mi-171s were delivered to that country’s air force, and will mostly fly missions to support exploration in the Antarctic, as well as search-and-rescue operations — and Brazil, where the first multirole coaxial Ka-32A11BC was delivered to an operating company in March. The Ka-32A11BC is also one of the only models on the market that can be used in to tackle fires in high-rise buildings — a situation in which conventional fire-fighting methods are rendered ineffective — and is therefore particularly suited to urban environments. It has also been in demand closer to home, with two being delivered to the Kazakhstan Emergencies Ministry.

Graphic rendering of an Mi-171A2.

In Asia-Pacific, Russian Helicopters continued to maintain strong relationships with Chinese customers, signing a contract to deliver 52 Mi-171E transports between 2012 and 2014. The contract built on the success of a previous deal signed in 2009 for 32 of the helicopters. Another first during the year was the delivery of a medium multirole Mi-171 to Indonesia.

Once again, Russian Helicopters’ focus on versatility and reliability — the Mi-171 can operate in a wide variety of climactic conditions — proved decisive in the choice of an advanced Russian Helicopter for use in Indonesia.

Full-Service Offering

Another key aspect of the Russian Helicopters offering is the complete support provided to customers both during and after the order process. Russian Helicopters is rolling out a global maintenance and repair network through its Helicopter Service Company. Regional hubs are being established around the globe to service customers on a regional level, including the key fast growing markets of India and China. In September 2012, Russian Helicopters and Denel Aviation of South Africa announced plans to open a new regional service hub for the sub-Sahara region in 2013.

Russian Helicopters has also established a dedicated training academy at its new base in the Moscow region town of Tomilino. The academy will provide training for both flight crews and technical support staff on all aspects of operating and maintaining the helicopters built by the company.

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