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Helicopter Industry

Motor Sich, practically the sole large producer of engines for Soviet helicopters, found itself in the Ukraine following the break-up of the Soviet Union. Motor Sich exports a substantial part of its products (54% of 2006 revenue) to Russia, where engines are installed on Mi-8 and Mi-17 helicopters and An-124, An-140 and An-148 aircraft.

The year 2005 was a successful one for Russian helicopter producers, thanks to increased sales both at home and abroad. The Defense Ministry's decision to spend more on military hardware will boost production at helicopter enterprises. The government's policy of strengthening the country's military potential will stimulate demand for military products, including helicopter technology. The process of consolidating Russia's helicopter enterprises by folding them into a unified Russian Helicopter under holding company Oboronprom, sought improved manufacturing efficiency through greater specialization and the absence of competition on the domestic market.

Kazan Helicopter Plant is currently Russia's biggest mass producer in terms of output. KVZ is the only helicopter enterprise with its own design bureau, which created two new models of light helicopters - the Ansat and Aktai. Faced in previous years with a total absence of government orders and support, KVZ moved into foreign markets and succeeded in selling its products in South East Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Strengths are an in-house design bureau; external contacts; range of promising Ansat and Aktay light helicopters and medium multifaceted Mi-38. Weaknesses are the fact that production of promising helicopter models has yet to be launched; as part of the helicopter holding, foreign contracts for Mi-8(171) are redistributed in favor of UUAZ which depresses KVZ's financials; relatively high leverage. Oboronprom owns nearly 30% in KVZ and management owns nearly 42% in the charter capital.

Ulan-Ude Helicopter Plant is a traditional rival of Kazan Helicopter Plant on the foreign market. In addition to helicopter products, UUAZ has also manufactured such combat aircraft as Su-25UB and Su-39. However, it would be incorrect to pin hopes on the fact that UUAZ will continue producing these planes after the new Yak-130 operational trainer appears. Since the state represented by Oboronprom owns a 63% stake in UUAZ, the state mediator in the area of military hardware trade Rosoboronexport will prefer UUAZ to KVZ when placing orders. According to expert opinion, UUAZ products are of higher quality than those manufactured by KVZ. Weaknesses include a limited aircraft range. UUAZ manufactures Mi-8 helicopters and their upgraded version Mi-171 which is one of the most widely used helicopter models. However, both of them are becoming obsolete and we cannot speak of prospects for these models. Oboronprom owns 63% in UUAZ.

Rosvertol is the only serial helicopter plant which had not been legally merged Oboronprom united helicopter holding until recently. However, in reality, Rosvertol was still considered part of this holding. On May 12, 2006, Rosvertol's shareholders adopted a decision to place an additional share issue in favor of the Russian Federal Property Management Agency and Oboronprom. Thus, Rosvertol legally became integrated with the helicopter holding. The number of shares to be issued was 295.8 mn which accounts for about 26% of Rosvertol's charter capital, taking into account an additional share issue. The buyout price will be Rb 3.67 ($0.135) per additional share. Rosvertol was the only serial producer offering the widest possible product range of promising helicopters. The Mi-26 is the only helicopter worldwide capable of transporting equipment and heavy cargo of up to 20 t both inside the cargo bay and using an external sling. The Mi-28H is a modern attack helicopter which will become a key assault force of RF Air Force. The Mi-24 (Mi-35) is the basis for the current combat helicopter power of the Russian military forces. After floating an additional share issue, Oboronprom will own a blocking stake in Rosvertol. In the future, Oboronprom plans to raise its stake in Rosvertol to a controlling interest.

As of 2013 the state program of development of the aviation industry helicopter in the next 10 years was to receive more than 60 billion rubles, including 36.5 billion from the budget, and the rest - from extra-budgetary sources. The program provided funding for a number of promising projects that can update an existing model range and allow domestic helicopter to remain competitive. First of all, the Mi-38, Ka-62 projects, new light helicopter take-off weight of 4.5 tons and a promising high-speed car, as well as some others. Some of these projects were already close to the realization of a portion of yet had no definite shape, even on paper.

Virtually all aircraft manufactured today are of the Soviet legacy, to a greater or lesser extent recycled. The base of the industry is still the Mi-8 platform (in export version - Mi-17) in a variety of versions. The share of "eights" account for more than two-thirds of the total number of helicopters produced in Russia, approaching 300 units per year.

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Page last modified: 21-10-2016 18:40:26 ZULU