Russian Helicopters is to develop a new light single-engined helicopter for service entry early next decade.

It will feature co-axial rotors and have a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of under 2,000kg (4,410lb), says the company.

Russian Helicopters has previously focused on heavier weight classes, with its lightest programmes to date the 3,600kg MTOW Kazan Ansat and Kamov Ka-226T twins.

However, with volume sales in general aviation confined to lighter rotorcraft, the manufacturer has switched course.

It will develop a helicopter that is “attractive to both commercial and private customers”, it says, which will also be certificated in Europe and the USA.

Russian Helicopters says MTOW will be 1,600kg, with a range of 410nm (760km). The new helicopter will be able to carry five people or 730kg of cargo and will have a maximum cruise speed of 124kt (230km/h).

By comparison, the 1,720kg MTOW Airbus Helicopters H120 can carry five people or a 718kg load, with range of 383nm, while the AgustaWestland AW009, with an MTOW of 1,800kg, can accommodate five people or transport 750kg with 412nm range.

Engineers have already begun working on the design, says Russian Helicopters, with an application for type certification to be submitted this year. Entry into service is scheduled for around 2020-21, the company says.

No details of which design bureau is handling the work have been released, although the use of co-axial rotors could indicate that Kamov is leading the work as such configurations are its speciality.