Service and Maintenance
In contrast to what was not happening among Russian aircraft constructors, by 2004 the plan to gather the companies that design and build Russia's helicopters under the one roof was fast taking form. Hatched towards the end of 2000 by Sergei Chemez, the managing director of Rosoboronexport, the state-controlled agency that sees to export sales of Russian military equipment and technology, the project aims to increase sales of military helicopters abroad and control the inflow of cash from the transactions more effectively.
Oboronprom Corporation completed the task assigned to it by the State to establish an integrated structure for helicopter manufacturing (Presidential decrees of November 29, 2004 and August 11, 2007, and Government resolutions of May 6, 2005 and September 22, 2007). From 2004 to 2007, Oboronprom worked hard to gather the helicopter industry under one roof, buying shares in the market, implementing share swaps against stakes in its charter equity, acquiring stakes from other owners and transferring ownership of the state's remaining stakes. Acting quietly and effectively, without any government strategy document or pompous meeting of the State Council, Oboronprom overcame the silent opposition of regional governors and factory managers to consolidate a significant part of the nation's helicopter assets.
In the framework of cardinal changes to the management of the holding, aimed at the centralization of management functions, OJSC Russian Helicopters, a fully-owned subsidiary of Oboronprom Corporation, will become the managing company of all enterprises of the integrated group. This will ensure consistent policy on production, marketing, sales and servicing, and lays the ground for the transformation of the holding into a unified corporation.
Russian Helicopters is the leading Russian designer and manufacturer of helicopters for civilian and defence markets. The company includes design bureaus, series production plants and allied industries to produce the full spectrum of helicopters of all types and versions.
Russian Helicopters is a full-cycle production company that encompasses all technological components:
- Helicopter design facilities: the Mil and Kamov design bureaus and the Kazan Helicopter Plant;
- Series production facilities and producers of helicopter equipment: Ulan Ude Aviation Plant, Kazan Helicopter Plant, Rosvertol, Kumertau Aviation Production Enterprise, Progress Arsenev Aviation Company;
- Allied industries: Vpered Moscow Machinebuilding Plant, Stupino Machinebuilding Plant;
- Production of helicopter trainers: RET Kronstadt
- Helicopter repair: Novosibirsk Aircraft Overhaul Plant;
- Servicing: Helicopter Service Company, Servicing centres abroad.
The holding includes:
Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant: a research and production complex, designer of the Mi brand of helicopter, a world leader in helicopter manufacturing. Mil makes all types and classes of helicopters: light, medium, and a unique class of heavy aircraft; narrowly specialized and multi-role; land and ship-borne, etc. More than one dozen basic helicopter models were designed and produced at the plant over the course of sixty years, each of which was produced in several versions (a total of over 200 designs).
Kamov (Moscow) is one of the leading helicopter design bureaus, and the only maker of co-axial rotor helicopters. Kamov is engaged in the development and manufacturing of all types of Ka helicopters for the navy, land forces and civilian applications.
Ulan Ude Aviation Plant (Ulan Ude, Republic of Buryatiya): the only enterprise in Russia that produces both fixed-wing (Su-25 and its export version Su-39) and rotary-wing (Mi-171) aircraft.
Kazan Helicopter Plant (Kazan, Republic of Tatarstan): one of the largest Russian manufacturers of medium helicopters, produces the Mi-8/Mi-17. In 2004 the plant began to produce the light multi-role Ansat helicopter, which was designed in-house. The plant also plans production of the Mi-38.
Rosvertol (Rostov on the Don): a series producer of the latest versions of the Mi-26T, the helicopter with the most powerful load lift in the world, and the Mi-24 (Mi-35) multi-role military transport helicopter and its modifications. The plant has begun series production of the Mi-28N(E) combat helicopter, chosen by the Russian Ministry of Defence as the main attack helicopter of the Air Force. At the end of September 2007, Oboronprom announced that it now held a blocking stake in Rosvertol, the last privately-owned helicopter producer, and maker of the Mi-35 attack helicopters.
Kumertau Aviation Production Enterprise (Kumertau, Republic of Bashkortostan): Produces the Ka brand of helicopter along with full after-sales service.
N. I. Sazykin Arsenev Aviation Company Progress (Arsenev, Primorskiy Krai): specializes in the production of the Ka-50 and Ka- 52 combat helicopters, the Mi-34 light helicopter and the repair of the Mi-24 helicopter.
Moscow Vpered Machinebuilding Plant (Moscow): produces anti-torque rotors and blades for Mi helicopters.
Stupino Machinebuilding Plant (Stupino, Moscow Oblast): produces aggregate drive connections for helicopter rotors.
Novosibirsk Aircraft Overhaul Plant (Novosibirsk): one of the largest Russian facilities for the repair and warranty or post-warranty servicing of Mi helicopter equipment.
RET Kronstadt (Moscow): a leading Russian enterprise for the development and production of aircraft navigation equipment, specialized steering systems, training systems and other equipment.
Helicopter Service Company (Moscow) (formerly called OJSC Kamov-Holding): a fully owned subsidiary of Oboronprom. Provides sales services and after-sales support for Mil and Kamov equipment, including marketing and sales of civilian helicopters on domestic and foreign markets, configuration, integrated service maintenance and repairs.
The establishment of an integrated structure on the base of the "OPK"Oboronprom" in 2004 was one of the major results from the federal target-oriented program for reformation and development of the RF defense industry complex. The structure is a single corporate formation uniting all domestic helicopter enterprises, including the world's leading helicopter developers such as the "Kamov" JSC, the "Mil" Moscow Helicopter Plant" JSC.
The holding establishment primarily intends forming advanced production relations in the field of helicopter industry and restoring administrative and scientific-technical links between the enterprises of the branch. The holding will make it possible to distribute optimally the state funds and to raise efficiency of the scientific and technical activity, to preserve unique domestic helicopter design schools, to eliminate unhealthy rivalry, to renew creative cooperation and mutual assistance. Owing to this integrated structure, the domestic producers will be capable of competing effectively at the world markets, and many opportunities will also be provided for drawing investment to new developments.
For the first time in the post-Soviet period, Russia has developed a comprehensive, medium-term strategy for helicopters: the State program for the development of the helicopter-manufacturing sector to the year 2015.The program projects three-fold productivity growth for helicopter sector enterprises, with annual output increasing to 500 helicopters, capturing at least 15% of the global market and driving the volume of helicopter equipment sales up to $17 billion.
Domestic demand for helicopter equipment began to grow for the first time in the post-Soviet period. Helicopters are now being procured by Russian ministries and agencies (the Federal Security Service, the Moscow branch of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Emergency Situations), airline companies (GazpromAvia, UTAir), and large Russian companies. In 2007, the Russian Air Force acquired its first combat helicopters: the Mi-28N Nochnoy Okhotnik. The Rf-50 and Ka-52 helicopter are now in production.
According to the official data of the Russian Ministry of Industry, in 2006 Russian aviation industry made 93 helicopters. It was 16% above the previous year (80 units). In 2006 the Kazan, Ulan-Ude, Rostvertol, and Kumertau plants made Mi-17-V5, Mi-17-1V, Mi-172, Mi-8-MTV1, Mi-8-MTV2, Ansat, Mi-26T, Ka-32A-AT, Ka-32A11BS, and 23D2 helicopters. Arsenyev based Progress made two Ka-50 "Black sharks". Rostvertol made five Mi-28N. The greatest growth of production was at Ulan-Ude and Kazan.
Exports grew as well. Main deliveries in 2006 were to Venezuela and China. Six helicopters Mi-17V-5, three Mi-172, eight Mi-35 and one Mi-26T worth a total of $230 million were delivered to Venezuela. China received the first 12 Mi-171 civil version helicopters within the 2006 contract for 24 units. Western sources reported that six Mi-17 were delivered to Chad. Some helicopters were delivered to Sudan, Mexico and Burkina Faso. Repair and modernization of helicopters were done for Peru and Kazakhstan. The Kumertau plant delivered seven Ka-32 civil helicopters to South Korea and to Spain.
JSC “Russian Helicopters” outlined six priority programs, which are the most attractive from the point of view of investment credits to be obtained and further cost recovery. The funding of these programs will be based both on the company assets and on the assets of investors.
- The first project is aimed at thorough modernisation of the well-known Mi- 8/17 helicopter (the demand for the upgraded Mi-8M will remain excessive for at least a decade and a half).
- The same optimistic evaluation and outlooks are given for further modernisation of the light multipurpose Ka-226 helicopter.
- The third priority program is Mi-38 multipurpose helicopter with increased cargo capacity for transportation of cargoes and passengers and
- the Mi-28NE military helicopter (the export upgraded version is being developed on the base of the above helicopter).
- the perspective 6-tonne Ka-62 helicopter
- 4.5-tonne Mi-54 helicopter
- further modernisation of Ansat
- Mi-34 helicopters is also considered to be a priority program.
Helicopter Service Company was appointed the sole supplier of parts to the manufacturing plants of Russian Helicopters.
The key objective is to go beyond the mere sale of finished helicopters and to engage in the full life cycle of the product: from production to service and repair and finally dismantlement. Helicopter Service Company is mandated to deliver the entire spectrum of parts as requested by enterprises, and to act as a centralized distribution point for requests to repair and service helicopter equipment.
In December 2007 Andrei Shibitov, director of the Moscow Milya helicopter plant, was named CEO of Russian Helicopters, marking the beginning of the consolidation of Oboronprom's helicopter assets into a single listed company. "It will be a long procedure to fully integrate these defense enterprises according to international accounting standards in preparation for an IPO, but in the future there will be a single company that designs produces and markets helicopters," Vasiliyev said.
In May 2008 Europe's third-largest helicopter maker, AgustaWestland, signed a deal with state-run Oboronprom on Friday for the Russian helicopter giant to distribute up to 450 million euros ($700 million) worth of Italian-made equipment over the next four years. Oboronprom, parent company of Russian Helicopters, will market AgustaWestland's helicopters in Russia and the CIS. Oboronprom and AgustaWestland, a subsidiary of Italy's Finmeccanica, eventually plan to set up joint production of Agusta helicopters in Russia. The two companies signed a letter of intent in summer 2007.
The end goal, by 2010, is a single share, international accounting standards, and an IPO, leaving the state with just over 50 percent while including foreign investors. The Russian helicopter industry has a long and rich history, and it has still much to show and offer to the world helicopter community. Today, the Russian helicopter sector is seeking to regenerate its former importance. During the Cold War the share of the Mil and Kamov helicopters in the world market amounted to 30 percent. A set task is to reach 15% market share for the Russian helicopters by 2015.
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