17-May-2016 Source: HeliHub.com
Russian news agency TASS is saying that Airbus Helicopters expects that H135 helicopters will start to be produced in Russia in 2017. Ural Works of Civil Aviation (UWCA) has signed a license agreement with Airbus to assemble the H135, and the Russian factory expects this will start with the delivery of kits for four helicopters to its Yekaterinburg facility.
Assembly of H135s in Russia will help reduce costs for Russian operators – principally by getting round the import duties. In Russia, a helicopter is subject to 15.7% import duty, whereas the duty for helicopter kits and spare parts is only in the range 3 to 5%.
The UWCA will reportedly also assemble Turbomeca Arrius 2B2Plus engines for the H135s, according to a separate contract signed with engine manufacturer Turbomeca.
The project requires UWCA to obtain certification from the Russian aviation authorities, and there is a potential for increasing the local content, through work or procurement, in the future. UWCA believes that EU sanctions on Russia have no impact on this partnership, as UWCA is itself not under sanction.
Assembly of the H135 is one of the projects expected to help UWCA secure a place in the Special Economic Zone known as “Titanium Valley.” The Zone is located outside of Yekaterinburg in Sverdlovsk Region, and is centered around the world’s largest titanium producer, VSMPO-Avisma.
UWCA already assembles Bell 407GXP light helicopters and has plans on adding Polish-designed LET L-410UVP-E20 turboprop aircraft as well as flight simulators and other aviation-related equipment.
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com