Gazprom, Russian Helicopters sign offshore helicopter deal

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(PHOTO: Russian Helicopters)

Vitaly Markelov, deputy chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee and Andrey Boginsky, director general of Russian Helicopters signed a strategic cooperation agreement for the supply of certified domestic-made Mi-171A3 maritime helicopters. The Mi-171A3 is the first domestically produced helicopter intended primarily for offshore operations (transportation of passengers and cargo over the sea). This helicopter was designed according to the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP) standards.

Serial aircraft have a maximum take-off weight of 13 tonnes. Mi-171A3 helicopter meets the increased safety requirements for flights over the water surface. In particular, it will be equipped with an emergency-resistant fuel system, an auto-activated emergency water landing system, and external life rafts. Mi-171A3 will have installed an integrated flight and navigation complex for the most difficult weather conditions – a glass cockpit with digital navigation equipment.

The helicopter will be available in two configurations. The first is for transportation of up to 24 passengers and cargo up to 5 tons. The second is for search and rescue operations and will be additionally equipped with specialised equipment, including medical. If required, the operator will be able to convert the cargo and passenger helicopter to a search and rescue helicopter independently.

Under agreement terms, Russian Helicopters will provide Mi-171A3 prototype tests, organise mass production and certification. There will also be established service centers for aircraft maintenance, simulators and training centers tutoring flight and technical personnel. “Gazprom” intends to purchase Mi-171A3 helicopters, following the current needs, to place orders for repair and maintenance. They are scheduled to be used on the continental shelf fields.

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