China confirmed its order for two Sikorsky S-76 medium twin-turbine helicopters last week. The aircraft will be used for search and rescue operations along China's 14,500km (7,840nm) coastline. The aircraft, scheduled to be stationed in Shanghai, will be piloted by the Shanghai Salvage Air Fleet, under the control of the communications ministry. Sikorsky entered joint venture negotiations last September with Shanghai Little Eagle Science and Technology to develop a light civil helicopter for the domestic Chinese market. In addition, Changhe Aircraft Industries is a partner in Sikorsky's S-92 programme, building the tail section of the new medium-lift class helicopter.

Source: Flight International