Despite global exhibitions being canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual International Helicopter Industry Exhibition, Heli Russia, went ahead as planned and took place in Moscow from 15 to 17 September 2020.
An important part of the exhibition is to provide an insight into the latest developments within the industry, particularly major civil projects such as the Ka-32A11BC multi-purpose helicopter and the light multi-purpose Ansat with new optional equipment, both presented by Russian Helicopter’s holding company. In addition, an operator of the Mi-38 showcased the heavy utility helicopter.
Celebrating its 20th anniversary this autumn, Rosoboronexport, Russia’s state-controlled intermediary in the area of exports and imports of military and dual-purpose products, was responsible for demonstrating military projects.
Ka-32A11BC is a multi-role helicopter designed for special search and rescue operations, used in the construction of tall structures, transporting cargo internally and via an external sling, logging, medevac and complex fire-fighting missions, as well as patrol and law enforcement support operations. Among its main advantages pointed out by the manufacturers is the coaxial design. high load capacity, low operating costs, extended service life and the absence of a tail rotor,
The Ansat was on display along with a set of new equipment. An emergency landing system is designed to keep the helicopter afloat in the event of an emergency landing on water. Ballonets provide buoyancy for the helicopter for 30 minutes. An additional fuel tank designed to increase the ferry range of the helicopter has been fitted. Moreover, from 2021 the Ansat modification with enlarged main fuel tanks will be available to customers, the manufacturer has reported. Ansat was one of the major products that Russia’s aerospace industry presented to the African leaders at the Russia-Africa Economic Forum in Sochi (Russia) in October 2019.
Also at HeliRussia was the brand-new Mi-38 heavy utility helicopter presented on the open static display by one of the commercial operators. The helicopter can carry cargo and passengers, be used as a search-and-rescue helicopter and flying hospital, as well as for offshore missions. According to Russian Helicopters, the Mi-38 is able to operate in a wide range of climates, including maritime, tropical, and cold environments.
Rosoboronexport demonstrated a full export lineup of Russian military helicopters with the focus being on the modernized Mi-35P and Mi-28NE attack helicopters.
The modernized Mi-35P is the latest development in the Mi-24 family of attack helicopters, which are widely known in Africa and have proven their efficiency in the hot climate of the continent. The new Mi-35P retains all the original advantages of the Mi-24 but has the ability to operate at night and has an optimised armament composition. The helicopter is equipped with a new sighting station, digital autopilot, and multi-functional digital displays.
As Ansat, a Mi-35P was also showcased at the Russia-Africa Economic Forum in 2019.
The Mi-28NE day/night attack helicopter is designed to search and destroy armoured and un-armoured vehicles, manpower and low-speed air targets as well as to provide cover and fire support for the troops at any time of day. It is equipped with an integrated avionics suite providing round-the-clock employment of the helicopter and weapons. The armament includes not only anti-tank but also air-to-air guided missiles. The prominent future is an onboard self-defence system against heat seeker missiles.
Among other advantages of the Mi-28NE Rosoboronexport lists its ability to operate in any geographical and climatic conditions (including hot climate), day and night use, heavy armour protection, high safety and single-engine flight and landing capability.
“Over 1 000 Russian helicopters of different versions have been delivered abroad under Rosoboronexport contracts for almost 20 years. Rosoboronexport and Russian industrial enterprises are implementing helicopter repair, modernisation and after-sales service projects, including on the premises of the established helicopter service centres,” – said Alexander Mikheev, Director General of Rosoboronexport at HeliRussia 2020.