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Russia, China ink deal to develop a new heavy-lift helicopter

MOSCOW (BNS): Russian Helicopters has signed a framework agreement with the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) to design, develop and produce a new heavy-lift helicopter.

The agreement was signed in Moscow on May 8 by the CEO of Russian Helicopters, Alexander MIkheev, and the Chairman of the Board of Directorsof AVIC, Lin Zuoming in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The new helicopter, dubbed as Advanced Heavy Lift (AHL) aircraft, will be about 38 tons, with a maximum payload inside the cabin of 10 tons and an external load of 15 tons.

The helicopter will be equipped for around the clock operation in hot climates, in the highlands, and in all weather conditions. It will be able to perform a variety of tasks, including those related to transport, evacuation, firefighting, and many others, the Russian Helicopters said in a statement.

Experts estimate that demand for the new helicopter in China could exceed 200 aircraft by 2040.

As of now, Russian Helicopters and AVIC have drawn up the preliminary technical specifications of the new helicopter and are continuing work on finalising its figure.

The two sides plan to sign a general contract later this year, the official statement said.

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