AgustaWestland and Russian Helicopters to develop a new 2.5 tonne helicopter

A HeliVert-built AW139 at the recent MAKS airshow. (AgustaWestland)

Russian Helicopters and AgustaWestland have signed a heads of agreement to jointly design and develop a new 2.5-tonne class single-engine helicopter. The agreement was signed at last week’s MAKS 2013 airshow in Moscow.

Under the program, responsibility for which will be shared 50/50, preliminary assessment of the helicopter’s technical design and commercial opportunities is expected to be completed by the end of the year. The new helicopter is being designed for the worldwide market and a wide range of applications, the partners said.

“This agreement is a new step in the mutually beneficial cooperation between our companies,” said Dmitry Petrov, CEO of Russian Helicopters.

The agreement between Russian Helicopters and AgustaWestland builds on a partnership that started with the establishment of the joint venture HeliVert for assembly in Russia of the AW139.

Russian Helicopters says it has built around 35 per cent of the global combat helicopter fleet and nearly 17 per cent of the ultra-heavy helicopter fleet worldwide (MTOW more than 20 tonnes), as well as 56 per cent of global helicopter fleet with a MTOW from eight to 15 tonnes.