Russian Helicopters, a subsidiary of Oboronprom, part of Rostec State Corporation, announces that four Mi-171E transport helicopters have been delivered to Poly Technologies under a contract signed in 2012 by the Chinese company and Rosoboronexport.
Under the contract Russian Helicopters will supply 52 Mi-171E transport helicopters to China. The latest consignment brings the number of helicopters delivered to date to 32, with the final batch expected to be transferred in 2014.
Russian Helicopters has worked with Poly Technologies since 2009, when the companies signed a contract for 32 Mi-171Es. The contract was completed in 2011 and formed a good foundation for continued cooperation.
The new Mi-171Es produced by Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant, a Russian Helicopters company, are specially adapted to provide high-class performance in mountainous terrain. They are fitted with enhanced VK-2500 engines and Safir auxiliary power plants, modernized transmissions, searchlights, internal fuel tanks and landing seats. The loading ramp and additional sliding door on the right-hand side make transportation tasks more efficient.
Chinese crews have successfully completed training at the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant’s training centre, where they learned techniques and rules for piloting the helicopters in various conditions using advanced training methods on the latest Mi-171 flight simulator. The pilots praised the comfort and ease of use of the simulator, its consistency with a real helicopter and the high level of competence of the training centre staff.
Mi-171s operate successfully across China, in particular in areas with complex terrains and harsh climates. They are used to carry a wide range of cargoes, including medicines, humanitarian aid and construction materials. In addition, the helicopters are used to support rescue operations and in the aftermath of emergency situations.
The Mi-171 flew missions to rescue and extract people following the earthquake in Sichuan province in April 2013. With mountain roads completely destroyed, the helicopter was the only means of transporting and delivering cargoes. Chinese rescue workers and helicopter operations praised the indefatigability, reliability, durability and ruggedness of the Russian-built helicopters.
China is one of the biggest operators of Russian-made helicopters. Most popular of all are helicopters of the Mi-8/17 series. The country has a fleet of about 150 Mi-171s; also operated in China are the heavy Mi-26TS and the multirole Ka-32A11BC. China can provide full material and technical support for Russian-built helicopters, with well-trained flight and technical and engineering staff. In future China plans to expand its fleet of Russian-built helicopters, and Russian Helicopters stands ready to offer its Chinese partners the latest models including the multirole Ka-226T and Mi-171A2.
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