HAI Convention News

Helicopter OEMs Suspend Russian Activities

 - March 7, 2022, 12:04 PM
Robinson Helicopter’s turbine-powered R66 is popular in Russia but due to the Ukraine conflict, export regulations now prohibit the factory from shipping or supporting its products there. (Photo: HAI/f-stop Photography)

Western helicopter manufacturers are pausing their business in Russia due to the Ukraine conflict.

“In response to the Russian Federation’s further invasion of Ukraine, the Bureau of Industry and Security has issued a final rule, ‘Implementation of Sanctions Against Russia Under the Export Administration Regulations (EAR),’ which implements new Russia license requirements and licensing policies to protect U.S. national security and foreign policy interests," Robinson Helicopter advised in a notice to dealers and service centers in Russia and Ukraine last week. “These controls primarily target Russia’s defense, aerospace, and maritime sectors. New EAR license requirements extend to many items that did not previously require a license to Russia on the basis of their commerce control list classification alone, such as parts and components used in civil aircraft controlled under ECCN (export control classification number) 9A991.d.

“Under the stringent licensing review policy being implemented, applications for the export, re-export, or transfer (in-country) of items now require a license for Russia and will be reviewed under a ‘policy of denial.’ Based on the above, Robinson Helicopter Company is not able to process, ship, or accept any orders for Russia at this time.”  

Robinson CEO Kurt Robinson told AIN, “Robinson has a substantial fleet of commercial and personal helicopters operating in Ukraine and Russia. Like everyone else, we were surprised by the recent turn of events in Russia and sincerely hope for a quick and peaceful resolution to this conflict.”

Bell parent Textron has also paused activities in Russia, saying, “Textron is no longer doing business within Russia and is closing its Russia office. We will cease sales of our aviation and other products and services in Russia.” 

Leonardo has responded similarly, with a company spokesman telling AIN, “Leonardo is monitoring closely the situation in the Ukraine, and responding to our respective government policies across our geographies. Leonardo Helicopters has already stopped sending components and spares to Russia, and has recalled its personnel.” 

Airbus stopped supplying spare parts for its aircraft in Russia last week and suspended the services including those it was providing through its Airbus Engineering Center in Russia “pending further review.” A company spokesman told AIN, "Airbus is monitoring the situation closely and analyzing the impact of the sanctions on our business and operations. The company is applying and will continue to apply the sanctions fully. In line with international sanctions currently in place, Airbus has suspended deliveries and  support services to Russian customers, as well as the supply of spare parts to the country."

A spokesman for Sikorsky parent Lockheed Martin told AIN that the company “is taking steps to help address the worsening humanitarian crisis through multiple partners, including committing aid to the Polish Red Cross, providing immediate relief to refugees in Poland, funding new shelters in Romania, and ensuring delivery of medical supplies in Ukraine. We also are offering financial support to our employees in Poland who are voluntarily hosting Ukrainian refugee families. In addition, we continue to support U.S. service members, including those recently deployed to the Eastern European theater, and their families.”

Lockheed Martin owns Poland-based PZL Mielec, which employs 1,600 and produces the cabin for the Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk and assembles the S-70i variant.