Russian Helicopters, AgustaWestland kick off 2.5t-class joint venture

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Russian Helicopters and AgustaWestland have formally kicked off their joint bid to produce an all-new 2.5t-class single-engined rotorcraft, with the signing of a heads of agreement at the MAKS air show in Moscow.

Details of design, workshare and project management for the 50:50 project, along with a market assessment, will be laid out by year-end. The helicopter is being designed for the world market and wide range of applications.

According to Russian Helicopters chief executive Dmitry Petrov, European certification is targeted for the final quarter of 2016. A joint group focused on the project has been at work since June 2012, and has produced a mock-up, he added in a briefing at his Moscow office last month.

The partners already have a 50:50 joint venture, HeliVert, which assembles AW139s for the Russian and CIS markets, at a 40,000m² (430,000ft²) site at Tomilino, near Moscow. The pair are yet to reveal where they will build the proposed 2.5t type.

Russian Helicopters is separately gearing up to begin production in Brazil - possibly of its new Kamov Ka-62, a 6.5t-class medium multirole helicopter.

Atlas Táxi Aéreo of Brazil is the launch customer for that aircraft, which is being readied for first flight in October or November.