China and Russia have signed a commercial contract on a joint heavy helicopter development project, said Miao Wei, China’s Minister of Industry and Information Technology.
“For the next step, the Chinese government will accelerate the progress for a project approval and finish it as soon as possible, so the project can officially start,” Miao said at a press conference held with the Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov at the 2019 Russian International Aviation and Space Salon (MAKS) in Zhukovsky, near Moscow.
China is the first partner country for the Russian project, as the two ministers held an opening ceremony at the stand-alone China Pavilion on Wednesday morning.
According to local media, the joint heavy helicopter Miao referred to is dubbed ‘Advanced Heavy Lift.’ It is expected to be 40-ton class, with a weight-lift capability of 15 tons, a range of 630 kilometers and a top speed of 300 kilometres an hour, Russian news channels previously reported.
In February, Russia’s TASS news agency reported that Russia’s state corporation Rostec was about to sign “the contract of the century” with China on the helicopter “in the coming two months” after four years’ talks, quoting Viktor Kladov, a Rostec representative.
Under the contract, at least 200 heavy helicopters will be built in China, Kladov said in 2017, RT and others have reported.