Starts Producing Russian Mi-171 Helicopters
Novosti) -- A manufacturing plant in southwest China has
started to assemble Russian-designed Mi-171 transport helicopters,
one of Russia's key arms exports, the Russian business daily
to build at least 20 helicopters in 2008 with assembly kits
supplied by a Russian plant in Ulan-Ude and later increase
production capacity to 80 aircraft per year.
consider this project as the beginning of a trend to assembly
Russian helicopters in China," the newspaper quoted a
source in Oboronprom, which controls Russian Helicopters, a
helicopter manufacturing group.
an export version of the Mi-8 Hip helicopter, which is currently
in production at two factories in Kazan and Ulan-Ude, fitted
with more powerful turboshaft engines.
to Vedomosti, the Lantian Helicopter Company, based in Sichuan
province, has already received orders worth $42.8 million.
Chinese are planning to export [Mi-171] helicopters to Pakistan
and Africa, which may hurt Russian exports," the source
said. "In addition, the successful implementation of the
project could leave Russian manufacturers short of component
Russian companies only built 120 Mi-171 helicopters, although
they had orders for 150 aircraft, due to a shortage of transmissions
and rotors, and according to estimates, there are no plans
in the future to increase production for these components.
At the same
time, some Russian experts believe it is better to allow the
Chinese to manufacture helicopters under license rather than
sit and wait until China develops its own version, modeled
on Russian designs, Vedomosti said.