On 15-17 September, the International exhibition of rotorcraft equipment was held at Crocus Expo Center in the Moscow outskirts.
The annual event which has never enjoyed a size of MAKS or Army Forum due its limited profile has dropped its size in half this year. The total amount of exhibitors was 153 (including 40 from media.) to make a minimum since 2009.
Previously scheduled for May it was shifted to 15-17 September due to COVID -19. The dates can’t be named favorable as the show happened two weeks after the Army-2020 Forum where 90% of the national industry took part. As per the Russian State requirement the “mask-and-gloves” regime was implemented.
Most of the participants were Russian teamed by few enterprises from Belarus, France, Germany, Spain and Switzerland. The USA was represented by the Bell Textron which displayed Bell-505 light single-engine helicopter. This particular vehicle has been already registered in Russia. The company representative claimed that their other product – the corporate Bell-429 - with 20 units being supplied so far has become most popular VIP-rotorcraft in Russia.
The show had few novelties as all the latest defense related products were showcased at the recent Army-2020. Two rotorcraft were displayed outside the Crocus Center: Mi-38 medium-transport helicopter and Ka-32A11BC.
The first one is in serial production at the Kazan Helicopter Plant since January, 2018. 15 vehicles were contracted by the Russian Ministry of Defense with two already delivered, and Rosoboronexport has reported on the first export contract with unspecified customer some time ago.
Ka-32A11BC is a successful machine in serial production at the Kumertau Plant. It was certified in Canada in 1998 (BC stands for British Columbia). Aside of the vehicle one could see a new feature – SP-32 water tank for fire-fighting. The equipment is intended for Ka-32A11M, the latest member of the Ka-32 family. The helicopter has been on offer to the Republic of Korea, which operates 41 Ka-32 rotorcraft for about 20 years.
The main attraction inside the hall was the Ansat light multifunctional helicopter with several options. The vehicle has been serially produced by the Kazan Helicopter Plant, which in fact designed the machine in the end of last century. The name Ansat stands for “easy” or “light” in the Tatar language. About hundred copies have been produced so far with the Russian MoD, Ministry of Emergency and State Leasing company as the main operators. There are relatively small firm contracts with PR China, Eritrea and Serb Republic of BH.
The displayed novelties included an optional Emergency Floating System and an Extra fuel tank. The last one has 192 liter volume to extend the Ansat flying distance on 140-150 km to reach 650 km in total.
Two more interesting items were presented by the Russian Helicopters Systems. The upgraded medical module for a single person transportation and a sanitary box for infected patients are to respond to the thread of COVID-19.
One of the show novelties was the international contract being concluded online. The St.-Petersburg based ODK-Klimov signed a life-cycle deal with an Indian helicopter operator SkyOne Airways. Klimov is to arrange live time maintenance of the Russian-made helicopters engines being in use with the Indian company. The ceremony took part simultaneously in both countries. The contract parts used a video conference regime through a secure channel which gave them the chance to ink the digital version of the contract.
Needless to say that Russia has always been strong in the military helicopter production for both internal and export customers. HeliRussia-2020 displayed a modest defense exposition being showcased by the Rosoboronexport pavilion with a number of Mil and Kamov models.
According to Rosoboronexport over 1000 rotorcraft vehicles were delivered abroad within the last 20 years.
“Rosoboronexport and Russian industrial enterprises are implementing helicopter repair, modernization and after-sales service projects, including on the premises of the established helicopter service center”, said Alexander Mikheev, Rosoboronexport CEO.
“Russia works systematically in the areas of combating counterfeiting and protecting intellectual property rights in the process of military-technical cooperation related to an increasing amount of work within research activities, licensed production, joint ventures establishment and other projects, which involve the transfer of Russian military and dual-use technologies,” added Mr. Mikheev.
The dates of the new HeliRussia exhibition have been announced as for 20-22 May 2021. Hopefully, the next rotorcraft forum will be better than the current one.