During his trip to the United States and Mexico, Alexander Mikheev, the CEO of Russian Helicopters, part of State Corporation Rostec, held a series of business meetings aimed at deepening cooperation with current foreign partners and at launching cooperation with new ones.
Alexander Mikheev met with the commercial director of Brazil's Atlas Taxi Aereo, Waldomiro F. Da Silva Junior during Heli-Expo 2014, held in California 24-27 February, to discuss the current contract to supply Brazil with Mi-171A1 helicopters. They also considered future cooperation on the delivery and servicing of Russian-made helicopters.
The first Mi-171A1 was delivered to Brazil in 2005. In 2011, Atlas Taxi Aereo received further two Mi-171A1s. These helicopters are used to support drilling work carried out by state oil company Petrobras in the Brazilian rainforests, where helicopters are under particular strain. Mi-171A1 helicopters have demonstrated reliability and effectiveness in these tropical conditions of high temperatures and almost 100 percent humidity. During a year of intense operations, one helicopter flew over 1,000 hours (on average 120 hours a month), carrying approximately 600 tonnes of cargo, primarily drilling equipment, on an external sling.
In an interview with the Russian news site Gazeta.ru last year, Waldomiro F. Da Silva Junior noted that, in 2013, Mi family helicopters set records for cargo transportation and operational conditions of the fleet. On average they transported 1,200 tonnes a month via external sling (about 7 tonnes per flying hour), which is 3-4 times more than other brand helicopters operating in the Amazon basin.
During Heli-Expo 2014, Alexander Mikheev also held working meetings with heads of European companies who have partnered with Russian Helicopters: Italy’s helicopter construction corporation AgustaWestland (part of Finmeccanica group), and France’s engine-building company Turbomeca (part of Safran group). Alexander Mikheev discussed the current state of play and future opportunities for cooperation under the Russian-Italian joint venture HeliVert with AgustaWestland's CEO Daniele Romiti, touching on marketing and servicing AW139 helicopters in Russia. They also discussed future steps to develop a light helicopter with a maximum flight weight of 2.5-3 tonnes. During the meeting with the French delegation, Russian Helicopters CEO Alexander Mikheev and Turbomeca's President and CEO Olivier Andries signed off on the marketing roadmap for 2014 and discussed current and future bilateral cooperation.
Russian Helicopters management and specialists also held meetings with representatives of KUKA Systems Group, a world-leading provider of engineering services and manufacturer of flexible automatic production systems. KUKA’s Eastern Europe and Russia Director Boris Kipnis gave a presentation on how KUKA Systems can help build assembly lines for aircraft manufacturing companies.
During their visit to South America the Russian Helicopters delegation, led by the company's CEO, also met with Mexico's Secretary of National Defence General Salvador Cienfuegos and Secretary of the Navy Admiral Vidal Francisco Soberón Sanz to discuss supplying Mexico with Mi-8/17 transport helicopters and the technology needed for pilot and flight engineer training. They also discussed work to upgrade Mi-8/17 helicopters with Oboronprom.
Today Mexico's Armed Forces and Navy employ over 50 Mi-8/17 helicopters in addition to the heavy military transport Mi-26 helicopter. These helicopters play a vital role in the fight against criminal groups in the region.