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20 Feb, 2019 11:22

Russia & China to sign ‘contract of the century’ for next-generation heavy helicopter

Russia & China to sign ‘contract of the century’ for next-generation heavy helicopter

Moscow and Beijing are to ink an agreement on developing a next-generation heavy helicopter, which will be more powerful than US-made ones, Russian state-owned corporation Rostec has revealed.

The landmark contract is to be signed in two months after years of tough talks, Viktor Kladov, the director of international cooperation and regional policy at Rostec, told reporters at the Aero India exhibition on Wednesday.

“Within a month or two the contract of the century with China on joint development, production, output and sale of a next-generation heavy helicopter will be signed,” Kladov said as cited by TASS, adding that the talks were held for four years.

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The new aircraft will be more powerful than US-made Sikorsky, but will not leave behind Russian MI-26, the largest helicopter in the world, with an impressive weight-lift capability of 20 tons.

This year, Russia is to ship the first batch of twenty Ansat multi-purpose light helicopters to China, Kladov told TASS earlier this week at the IDEX 2019 international defense exhibition in Abu Dhabi.

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The helicopters, equipped with medical modules made by the Russian Helicopters holding, will be delivered to China’s Association of Emergency Medicine. The contract for the supply of Ansat helicopters, which can be used for first aid and emergency evacuation of patients, was signed between the two countries at the Airshow China exhibition in 2018.

Trade turnover between Russia and China reached an all-time high in January, surpassing $107 billion just one month after it hit the previous record of $100 billion. China remains Russia’s number one trade partner, with the mutual volume of trade significantly growing over recent years.

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