MAKS: Russian Helicopters makes export push after completing consolidation

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Russian Helicopters is gearing up to make a push for both domestic and international sales, after completing its consolidation in December with the purchase of Rostvertol.

The state-owned company, which hopes to manufacture 257 helicopters in 2011, is showcasing its wide product line at MAKS 2011, including the Mi34C1, Ka-226T, Mi-26T2 and its best-selling Mi-17 range.

"This event is the opportunity to highlight the fact that we have finished the task, which we began several years ago, of consolidating the Russian helicopter industry," said a spokesman.

mil mi-17, russian helicopters
 © Russian Helicopters

"Russia itself is our big market, but we are actively outside Russia too. We now have about 13% of the world helicopter market, with the total sales divided almost equally between Russia and the international market. We want this to grow."

The company got a big domestic boost when the Russian defence ministry announced in May that it has signed contracts for the firm delivery of various helicopters to the different services. These would be delivered up to 2018.

While neither the company nor the ministry has revealed the number of helicopters, industry sources say Moscow has committed to about 1,000 rotorcraft.

Internationally, the company is looking at existing customers and new ones for additional sales.

Apart from traditional sources like China and India, the company is also eyeing new customers in Asia, Africa and South America. A recent operators conference in Moscow attracted more than 200 participants from 80 countries, said the spokesman.

A lack of attention to after-sales service has been a constant bugbear among operators, but Russian Helicopters has moved to rectify the problem by starting up a new company that will focus exclusively on this issue.

It is also enhancing its service network by starting up new dedicated centres in China, South America, India and other regions where its helicopters are operated.

"With this, we will have a proper global service network that will be similar to what some of our rivals have around the world," said the spokesman.