Rostec unit signs dealership agreements for Malaysia

The VRT500 light helicopter on display in Russia.

Rostec unit signs dealership agreements for Malaysia

The VR-Technologies unit of Russian Helicopters (part of the Rostec group) has signed dealership agreements for the promotion and sale of the VRT500 light multipurpose helicopter with Malaysia’s Ludev Aviation. Rostec planes to start supplying the helicopters in 2023.

Ludev Aviation intends to purchase five helicopters. Optional equipment and details of interiors and livery of the VRT500s will be determined after the helicopter is issued a type certificate and an airworthiness certificate in accordance with the standards of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) . In early 2019, the technical project of the VRT500 programme was successfully completed, and development of design documents started. Tests of the first prototype will start in 2020.

“Europe and Asia are priority potential markets for the VRT500 helicopter. With its performance, the helicopter competes with rotorcraft of the same class used in these regions,” says the director general of VR-Technologies, Alexander Okhonko.

The VRT500 is a light single-engine helicopter with coaxial rotors. Its take-off weight is 1,650 kilos. The aircraft has the largest passenger and cargo cabin in its class, which can accommodate up to five passengers and is equipped with a modern interactive avionics complex. The design solutions of the helicopter will allow it to reach the speed of up to 250 kph, fly up to 860 km and carry up to 730 kg of payload. The helicopter is designed in passenger, multipurpose, cargo, training, VIP and HEMS configurations.

Russian Helicopters also said it had signed deals with Gazprombank Leasing and Norilsk Avia (part of Norilsk Nickel group) to supply 10 multipurpose Mi-8AMT helicopters. The helicopters are to be built at the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant, which is part of Russian Helicopters and are scheduled for delivery in 2020-2024.

“It’s the first time that we signed a lease agreement with Gazprombank Leasing, and we are very excited about it. We look forward to a long and fruitful cooperation,” noted said the director general of Russian Helicopters, Andrey Boginsky. “The first two Mi-8AMTs will be delivered to Norilsk next March and will join the Norilsk Avia fleet. Mi-8AMTs are great machines belonging to the famous Mi-8/17 family. They are equipped with modern avionics and are perfectly suited for operating in harsh climatic conditions of the far north, from Taimyr tundra to the islands of the Arctic Ocean.”

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Matthew Driskill is the Editor of Asian Aviation and is based in Cambodia. He has been an Asia-based journalist and content producer since 1990 for outlets including Reuters and the International Herald Tribune/New York Times and is a former president of the Foreign Correspondents Club of Hong Kong. He frequently appears on international broadcast outlets like CNN, Al Jazeera and the BBC and has taught journalism at Hong Kong University and the American University of Paris. Driskill has received awards from the Associated Press for Investigative Reporting and Business Writing and in 1989 was named the John J. McCloy Fellow by the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in New York where he earned his Master's Degree.


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