Russian state-owned corporation Rostec has confirmed that Russia and China will sign a contract on the creation of a heavy helicopter in coming months.
According to Russian media reports, Viktor Kladov, the director of international cooperation and regional policy at Rostec said that Russia and China to sign heavy helicopter contract within 30-60 days.
“We have prepared and will sign in the coming two months a contract of the century with China on joint development, production and sales of the new generation heavy-lift helicopter. We have spent four years of intense talks on this project,” Kladov said.
According to the official, the helicopter will be more powerful than US Sikorsky but smaller than Russia’s Mi-26 and will have cargo capacity of 15 tonnes.
Experts estimate that the demand for the new model in China could top 200 rotorcrafts for the period until 2040. The helicopter will be designed for around-the-clock operation in hot climates, in highland areas and in all weather conditions. It will be suitable for a wide range of missions: transportation, evacuation, firefighting and many others.
The new helicopter will be equipped with the new AI-136T turboshaft engines. The new engine is an upgraded version of D-136 and developed by the Ukrainian Motor Sich and Ivchenko-Progress companies.
The AI-136T delivers 11,500 hp at maximum trust setting at surrounding temperatures of up to 50ºC. It also has an emergency mode which provides up to 14,500 hp. Maximum output of the original D-136 is 11,500 hp at temperatures no higher than 15ºC. So the new engine is expected to significantly improve the helicopter’s performance in hot-and-high conditions.
It is proposed that the future Russian-Chinese heavy-lift helicopter will receive a Russian-made engine leveraging the technology of the domestically produced engine PD-14.