China, Rus­sia sign heavy he­li­copter deal

▶️ Govern­ment vows to ac­cel­er­ate ap­proval for project to be de­liv­ered by 2032

Global Times US Edition - - FRONT PAGE - By Liu Xuanzun in Moscow

China and Rus­sia have fully agreed upon and signed a com­mer­cial con­tract on a joint heavy he­li­copter de­vel­op­ment project, said Miao Wei, China’s Min­is­ter of In­dus­try and In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy, on Wed­nes­day.

“For the next step, the Chi­nese govern­ment will ac­cel­er­ate the progress for a project ap­proval and fin­ish it as soon as pos­si­ble, so the project can of­fi­cially start,” Miao said at a press con­fer­ence held with the Rus­sian In­dus­try and Trade Min­is­ter De­nis Man­turov at the 2019 Rus­sian In­ter­na­tional Avi­a­tion and Space Sa­lon (MAKS) in Zhukovsky, near Moscow.

China is the first part­ner coun­try for the Rus­sian event, as the two min­is­ters held an open­ing cer­e­mony at the stand-alone China Pav­il­ion on Wed­nes­day morn­ing.

The joint heavy he­li­copter Miao re­ferred to is dubbed “Ad­vanced Heavy Lift.” It is ex­pected to be 40-ton class, with a weight-lift ca­pa­bil­ity of 15 tons, a range of 630 kilo­me­ters and a top speed of 300 kilo­me­ters an hour, Rus­sian news chan­nel RT pre­vi­ously re­ported.

In Fe­bru­ary, Rus­sia’s Tass news agency re­ported that Rus­sia’s state cor­po­ra­tion Rostec was about to sign “the con­tract of the cen­tury” with China on the he­li­copter “in the com­ing two months” af­ter four years’ talks, quot­ing Vik­tor Kladov, a Rostec rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

Un­der the con­tract, at least 200 heavy he­li­copters will be built in China, Kladov said in 2017, RT re­ported.

Miao did not give any de­tails on the con­tract on Wed­nes­day, in­clud­ing how many or where the he­li­copters will be built.

China is re­spon­si­ble for the he­li­copter’s de­sign and pro­duc­tion and Rus­sia will be act­ing as a tech­ni­cal part­ner, Kladov said.

The heavy he­li­copter is ex­pected to be de­liv­ered by 2032, Wu Xim­ing, chief de­signer for the state-owned Avi­a­tion In­dus­try Corp of China, told the Global Times in March.

“Rus­sia is more ex­pe­ri­enced in the trans­mis­sion sys­tem when it comes to 40-ton class he­li­copters, as Rus­sia’s Mi-26 is of the 56-ton class. Our goal in the co­op­er­a­tion is to learn from Rus­sia’s strong points and close the gap,” Wu said then.

A heavy he­li­copter can usu­ally be used to air­lift heavy cargo and ve­hi­cles with­out the need of an air­field.

For mil­i­tary use, a heavy he­li­copter can trans­port troops, ar­mored ve­hi­cles, ar­tillery and rock­ets. For civil­ian use, it can lift heavy engi­neer­ing ve­hi­cles to sites where nor­mal trans­porta­tion routes could not reach in case of a nat­u­ral dis­as­ter, mil­i­tary ob­servers said.

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