Kazan Helicopter might get contract for 66 helicopters for National Air Ambulance Service

PSB Leasing and the National Air Ambulance Service signed an agreement to purchase 66 Kazan helicopters for 28 billion rubles

Kazan Helicopter might get contract for 66 helicopters for National Air Ambulance Service
Photo: Maksim Platonov

After two years of commotion, it seems Kazan Helicopters might get a contract to build an unprecedented lot of 66 helicopters for the needs of Russia’s air ambulance. PSB Leasing Group of Companies (part of Promsvyazbank group) and the National Air Ambulance Service (NAAS) signed an agreement to buy Russian helicopters for 28 billion rubles, said PSB’s press service on 20 January. Ansat helicopters will account for a significant part: 37 aircraft will be purchased. Previously, Kazan Helicopters made around 30 Ansats, 17 of which are used by Russian Helicopter Systems, which is a rival of the NAAS.

First supplies are scheduled for this summer

PSB Leasing Group of Companies and the National Air Ambulance Service (Rostec’s operator) signed an agreement to lease 66 Russian helicopters: 29 Mi-8MTV-1 and 37 Ansat helicopters, PSB’s press service said on 20 January. The total sum of the deal is 28 billion rubles. The message reads that PSB Leasing, a subsidiary of PSB, will lease the helicopters for 15 years.

Mi-8MTV-1 helicopter and lightweight Ansat air ambulance helicopter are made only by Kazan Helicopters, the Kazan enterprise confirmed. It is considered that the contract on funding of the construction of 66 helicopters will be signed soon. We should note that one Ansat is evaluated at 200-250 million rubles, while Mi-8MTV-1 — from 500 million rubles.

The purchased helicopters will provide services of air ambulance for patients who need immediate specialised treatment. Photo: Maksim Platonov

The first supplies are expected to be carried out this summer. “Depending on the production term of helicopters, the supplies are scheduled to begin in June 2021 and end in September 2022,” reads the message of PSB. The purchased helicopters will provide services of air ambulance for patients who need immediate specialised treatment. Commenting on the deal, Director General of PSB Leasing LCC Sergey Ogiyenko noted he considered the contract one of the key for his company because supporting the sale of high-tech products of Russian origin is the company’s priority.

“The social component of the deal cannot be overestimated: helicopters of the National Air Ambulance Service work 24/7 in Russia’s remotest regions daily saving people’s lives. Thanks to the signed agreement, the client will expand the fleet of aircraft and increase its geographical footprint, which will help develop the whole system of the country’s air ambulance system. The National Air Ambulance Service has had a small fleet of aircraft until now,” Ogiyenko said.

Belykh’s lift?

We should note that the signing of the contract with the NAAS happened after Alexey Belykh came to chair Kazan Helicopters, he was appointed in late 2020. As Realnoe Vremya already wrote, he can get public contracts for over 20 billion rubles as “allowance”. It became possible to sign this contract as a result of redistribution of subsidies designed to back the aviation industry. As Realnoe Vremya said, the draft of the Russian government’s decree No. 1798 on withdrawal of federal subsidies from leasing the plane Il-96-400M was under consideration. However, it was said that 36 Kazan Mi-8, Ansat and Mi-38 helicopters would be bought, they were planned to be built until 2023.

The signing of the contract with the NAAS happened after Alexey Belykh came to chair Kazan Helicopters, he was appointed in late 2020. Photo: rhc.aero

However, we should remind you that this isn’t the first attempt to purchase an air ambulance aircraft. In 2018, Rostec’s subsidiary Russian Helicopters, the National Air Ambulance Service and Aviacapital-Service already signed contracts to supply 150 ambulance helicopters. It was said then that the agreement was signed on 2018 Hydroaviasalon exhibition. According to it, the NAAS was to get 104 Ansat helicopters and 46 Mi-8AMT aircraft equipped for medical purposes. Moreover, there were signed agreements to service the aircraft after the sale, but they didn’t become a reality in the end.

By Luiza Ignatyeva
Tatarstan