Russian Helicopters holding company (part of Rostec State Corporation) and United Helicopters International Group entered into three contracts during the International Aviation and Space Salon MAKS 2017. According to these contracts, 10 helicopters will be shipped to Chinese operators in 2017-2018.
In particular, according to the contracts signed, United Helicopters will receive five light Ansat helicopters in the medical version, three Mi-171 helicopters in the transport version, and two firefighting Ka-32A11VS helicopters for further shipment to Chinese operators.
“China is interested in operating high-quality civilian helicopters. Russian aircrafts have more potential on this market due to advanced design and unique flight characteristics. Our Chinese partners can prove this after many years of successfully operating Russian helicopters. I am confident that this supply, which is the first one to include the medical version of Ansat, will promote upgrade and strengthening of the Chinese helicopter fleet,” noted Andrey Boginskiy, CEO of Russian Helicopters, after the contracts were signed.
The first batch will be delivered to the customer before the end of 2017, and the contracts will be completely carried out in the middle of 2018. The first batch will include two Ka-32 helicopters that will be used by Chinese companies for firefighting, especially in the conditions of complex city terrain with limited access to skyscrapers. Ka-32 is also ideally suited for operation in hard-to-reach mountain and forest regions and can land outside stationary landing grounds.
The Ka-32 helicopters have already been used in China for firefighting and search and rescue missions for several years. The Ka-32 helicopter with its coaxial rotor system is considered one of the best helicopters for fighting massive fires in an urban setting.
The medical version of Ansat will be shipped to China for the first time. A medevac helicopter is the fastest and the most effective means of transporting people who need immediate medical attention. The Ansat helicopter equipped with a medical module is used for critical patients and for people who cannot be transported over large distances by traditional means due to their age, restricted mobility, or illness. Medevac helicopters are also indispensable for those who live in remote or hard-to-reach areas where no suitable medical facility is available.
“China is now facing a boom on the medical market. We expect an increase in the use of medical aviation. The Chinese government is setting strict requirements for medical facilities in terms of technical reliability and high efficiency in relation to life-saving operations. World-famous Russian helicopters fully meet these requirements. The medical version of Ansat is known as a helicopter with outstanding characteristics. This is a full-fledged emergency care aircraft with all the medical equipment needed. Besides, the cost of Ansat is the lowest in its class. As the Chinese government cares for its citizens and constantly improves security and quality of life, it is planning to acquire a large number of these helicopters in the near future to address the needs of the people as much as possible,” stressed Li Xuefeng, managing director of United Helicopters.
The Mi-171 helicopters have also been widely used in China for a long time now for transportation and evacuation of people from disaster areas and for transportation of various types of cargo, including medical equipment, humanitarian aid, and building materials