Russian Helicopters and Chinese manufacturer Avicopter have agreed the technical side of their joint heavy helicopter project, according to the Russian company’s CEO Andrey Boginsky who told reporters it’s ready to sign a contract by the year end.
“We’ve managed to reach an agreement with our Chinese partners on the technical parameters of the heavy-lift helicopter, now we have a clear understanding of the characteristics of the machine,” he told reporters on Friday.
Boginsky added they discussed the costs of the project at the China Helicopter Expo.
Agreement on the program of developing a heavy-lift civilian helicopter was signed in June 2016 during a visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to China.
Under the agreement, Russian Helicopters will invest in the project and develop separate systems for the new machine.
China will be responsible for the helicopter’s design and production, with Russia acting as a technical partner. The helicopter will be manufactured in China.
With a maximum takeoff weight of 38.2 tons, it will be able to carry up to 15 tons. The helicopter will have a range of 630 kilometers and a top speed of 300 kilometers per hour.
The new helicopter is among a range of Russian-Chinese projects that also include plans for a long-range widebody aircraft. It is part of a $13 billion aviation cooperation deal sealed by Moscow and Beijing in 2014.
Last year Russian Helicopters announced plans to sell 18 new helicopters to China, including Mi-171s, Ka-32s, and Ansat.