Kazan Helicopters has begun work on a military version of its Ansat twin-engined  utility helicopter, which is nearing civil certification. The Russian defence ministry will provide federal research funding.

Airline Tyumen Avia Trans and Russian oil giant Gazprom are showing interest in the machine. Last October Kazan beat rival bids from Kamov and Mil to provide 100 helicopters for Russian army flying schools. Detailed design work started last month.

Kazan has yet to name a powerplant for the 3,300kg-class military Ansat. Options include the locally manufactured 480kW (650shp) P&W-Rus PW207K, which is a growth version of the 335kW Pratt & Whitney Canada PW206C. Other contenders include a Ukrainian ZMKB Progress AI-450 and Russia's Klimov VK-800.

Apart from the basic training version, which will be sold for $1.8 million apiece, Kazan is also in the process of developing a reconnaissance variant which is likely to be armed with anti-tank missiles, with a redesigned fuselage and a tandem cockpit.

The helicopter, now equipped with a programmable Avionika flight control system, has been re-submitted for certification. The second of three prototypes has built up a quarter of the 400h flight tests required for Russian AP-29 certification, which is scheduled for completion by the first quarter of next year, says Kazan.

Source: Flight International