Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) will purchase seven AgustaWestland AW139 helicopters assembled in Russia, Lenta.rureports.
According to the statistics posted at the website of the Federal Agency for Procurement of Weaponry, Military and Special Equipment, and Materiel (Rosoboronpostavka), the total value of this contract is assessed at 630 million rubles. However, this figure may decrease since the helicopters will be purchased following the results of the corresponding tender. The new vehicles will be used for performing VIP-flights.
The MoD intends to issue the tender in February 2013 and finalize it in November. It will be an open tender. The contract on delivery of multi-role AW139 helicopters assumes prepayment to the amount of 80% of its total value. The Tomilino-based HeliVert joint venture is responsible for production of AW139 helicopters.
According to a source close to the aircraft industry, the cost of one Italian helicopter assembled in Russia is about $15-20 million. Thus the MoD will have to pay at least $105 million.
Meanwhile, Russia is completing the development of a multi-role helicopter of the same class as AW139. The new Russian helicopter – Ka-62 should perform its maiden flight in spring-summer 2013. The helicopter’s serial production will be launched by Progress Arsenyev Aviation Company (Primorski Krai). These helicopters will also be purchased by MoD, but they will be used for transporting cargo and service personnel.
AW139 helicopter assembled in Russia performed its maiden flight on December 19th 2012. The rollout of the first AW139 helicopter assembled in Russia (tail number 60001) was performed on December 18th 2012. It is expected that the second aircraft (tail number 60002) will join the testing in February 2013. These vehicles will be delivered to an undisclosed customer. In future HeliVert intends to manufacture at least 20 AW139s per year.