Russian Helicopters hopes to more than double its share of Southeast Asia’s commercial helicopter market in the next half-decade.

“Right now our market share in Southeast Asia is about two percent,” says Russian Helicopters’ director general Andrey Boginsky. “The test we see before ourselves is to increase this share over the next five to seven years to five to seven percent.”

Boginsky made the remarks at a company event in Kuala Lumpur. It included flying demonstrations by the Kazan Ansat and Mil Mi-171A2 from the helipad of the Sepang Formula 1 race track. It was attended by representatives of Malaysia’s armed forces, parapublic agencies, and other operators.


All images Greg Waldron/FlightGlobal

The event concluded a one month tour through the region with the two helicopters. After appearing at Airshow China in Zhuhai in early November, the pair of rotorcraft travelled over 5,000km visiting Hanoi, Phnom Penh, Bangkok, and finally Kuala Lumpur.

On which Southeast Asian market segments Russian Helicopters is targeting, Boginsky stressed the flexibility and multi-role nature of the company’s portfolio. Specific areas where the company sees potential are emergency medical services, passenger transport, and firefighting.


As part of the Sepang demonstration, technicians demonstrated how the light twin Anset can be quickly converted from a passenger to an EMS configuration.

“Both the Ansat and Mi-171A2 can conduct EMS operations,” says Boginsky. “Last year we delivered a total of 29 EMS equipped helicopters. Overall our helicopters rescued over 8,000 patients, of which about 1,700 were children.”

He stressed that the Mi-171A2 can carry 5t of cargo externally, and has a firefighting configuration. In addition, the type has potential in the offshore oil & gas sector.


Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that there are 231 Russian-built helicopters in service throughout Southeast Asia. Of these, just 34 are used in civilian applications, the majority of which are Mi-8/17s that operate in Vietnam. Key applications for Russian built helicopters in the region are in civil/utility transport, firefighting, heavy lift, search and rescue, and head of state transport.

Boginsky adds that the company stands ready to provide customer support to regional customers from its network in Russia. The company also has support joint ventures in Vietnam and China, and can help line up Russian financing for customers.


“Across Southeast Asia there are approximately 200 Russian/Soviet built Helicopters in operation. We continue to support operations with our customers, both the existing fleet and to potentially expand it. As for civilian products, we’re not afraid of competition from the Western side. We know our main competitors very well.”