A Sino-Russian effort to develop a new advanced heavy helicopter was discussed during the recent visit to Shanghai by a Russian delegation headed by President Putin. According to Russian Helicopters general director Alexander Mikeyev, his company has been discussing the project with China’s Avicopter since 2008. “The main parameters of the project have been agreed on. But the work is not yet complete,” he said.
Oleg Rogozin, the Russian prime minister responsible for the military-industrial complex and part of the delegation to China, said that the advanced heavy helicopter is of secondary importance, “after the creation of a complete line of passenger airliners jointly with China.” Rogozin said the rotorcraft will have payload capability of up to 15 tons.” Speaking at the HeliRussia 2014 exhibition recently, Mikeyev said the new rotorcraft in question will “use the technologies of the Mi-26, but [will be] a new machine in a class of its own.” He added, “The ultimate goal is to carry out various missions inside the Chinese territory. This future helicopter will be a Chinese product.”
Russian Helicopters is currently offering the Mi-26T2 version of the well established heavy-lift helicopter. The Russian MoD has placed a production order for an unspecified number. India already operates Mi-26s, but it chose the Boeing CH-47F instead in its recent competition for more heavy-lift helicopters. However, Pakistan has requested the supply of some Mi-26s via Rosboronexport.