A story in AIN’s opening edition at the Dubai Air Show [DEAL FOR RUSSIAN HELOS A BLOW TO FRANCE] suggested that Russian defense export agency Rosboronexport would announce a $2.2 billion deal with Saudi Arabia for 150 Mi-17 transport and Mi-35 attack helicopters at the show.
Lockheed Martin is demonstrating the versatility of the U.S. Navy’s Seahawk helicopter, for which the company installs and integrates the avionics equipment, as well as the sensor systems. On delivery of the airframe from Sikorsky, Lockheed Martin undertakes the extensive equipment installation that over the years has been progressively updated.
Safran’s business in India has taken a step forward following the recent maiden flight of Hindustan Aeronautics’ Dhruv helicopter powered by the Ardiden 1H Shakti turboshaft engine produced by the French group’s Turbomeca division. The move bolsters Safran’s long-term expansion plans in India, not only in the defense market but also in the booming civil sector.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent Middle East tour triggered the signing of a $25 million contract to supply six Kamov Ka-226 light helicopters to Jordan over the next two years. The deal is a breakthrough for Russian helicopter manufacturers as Jordan previously bought only Western-built rotorcraft.
Russian defense export agency Rosoboronexport is expected to announce a $2.2 billion order from Saudi Arabia for Mi-17 and Mi-35 military helicopters today.
The deal translates into another of a humiliating series of lost contracts for the French defense industry, which now appears certain to undergo a re-evaluation of its export policy.
Although Turkey announced its selection of the AgustaWestland A129 for its tactical reconnaissance and attack helicopter program in March, it took until September 7 to finalize a contract whereby the Anglo-Italian rotorcraft maker will participate in Turkey’s ATAK program in partnership with prime contractor Tusas Aerospace Industries (TAI).
Eurocopter and Hermès, two companies with distinctly different disciplines, have launched an effort that will blend their respective skills and creative genius in l’Hélicoptère par Hermès. It is, according to Eurocopter, “a reappraisal of the helicopter’s potential as a form of personal transportation.” The EC 135, a light, multi-mission, twin-engine Eurocopter, was selected for the maiden effort.
Bell and Eurocopter posted large orders at the recent Air Medical Transport Conference (AMTC) held in Tampa, Fla., in September, selling a combined 50 helicopters. Bell received orders for 27, while Eurocopter sold 23.
Bell wrote orders for sixteen 206L-4 LongRangers from Air Evac Services,
The latest market projection for the civil helicopter market: red-hot. For the OEMs, it means big delivery backlogs, which translates to waiting times of up to four or five years for customers. While the demand for medevac and offshore support rotorcraft is accelerating, the popularity of executive helicopters is also on the rise as urban surface traffic grows ever worse.
Eurocopter has received from the Austrian Ministry of Interior an order for eight EC 135 P2is. The “P” in the designation indicates the engines are Pratt & Whitney Canada PW206s. Deliveries of the police-configured helicopters will take place between next March and May 2009. The last four aircraft will be equipped with forward-looking infrared cameras and searchlights.