Tatarstan at MAKS 2021: EMERCOM purchases Mil Mi-38, and Minnikhanov asks price for Ural's Baikal

At the International Aviation and Space Salon, Tatarstan managed to sign contracts worth 43 billion, show the improved Ansat and make friends with the Volga-Dnepr Group

On Friday, the business part of the programme of the Moscow Aerospace Salon (MAKS) finished. Tatarstan presented a large exposition there, where the achievements of 18 enterprises of the republic, including the Kazan Aircraft Production Association — the branch of Tupolev PJSC and Kazan Helicopters — were shown. The current air show was marked for the republic by the signing of a cascade of contracts for the supply of helicopter equipment for almost 43 billion rubles, as well as the signing of a strategic partnership agreement with Volga-Dnepr Group for the development of air cargo transportation through Kazan.

Putin was shown Checkmate

The 15th International Aviation and Space Salon (MAKS) in Zhukovsky, near Moscow, was traditionally opened by President Vladimir Putin. Speaking at the ceremony, he said that MAKS, despite the difficulties caused by the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, fully meets its international status.

The partner country of MAKS 2021 this time has been Kazakhstan (last year it was China). Our aerospace ties with this country are much closer than with China: Russian defense industry carries out many joint projects in the field of cosmonautics from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Besides, a few years ago, Russia handed over to Kazakhstan the design documentation for the assembly of Mi helicopters, which are built at Kazan Helicopters and in Ulan-Ude, and helped the neighbours to create a helicopter construction centre.

At the same time, Russia is open to cooperation in the field of aviation with all international countries.

“Improving flight safety, reducing the negative impact of aviation on the environment, studying extraterrestrial space — these are the areas in which scientists, designers, and other specialists from different countries should unite to achieve new breakthrough results," Putin said in his speech.

And he went to inspect the promising domestic air equipment. The main novelty of the salon was the light combat fighter of the fifth generation Checkmate, created by Rostec on the basis of the Su-57. A line of modern helicopters was built right there — a specialised rotary-wing aircraft for offshore operations Mi-171AZ produced by Ulan-Ude, the upgraded version of Ansat-M from Kazan Helicopters, unmanned VRT300 helicopter... While examining the flight exposition, the president of Russia boarded a Sukhoi Business Jet.

After viewing the demonstration programme, the head of the state held a meeting on the development of civil aircraft construction. By its results, Putin demanded to determine the long-term plans of manufacturers for the production of aircraft until 2030.

SSJ-100 and medical Ansats: air carriers' contracts

Meanwhile, the first contracts to replenish the fleet of civil equipment were signed at the MAKS 2021 site. The flagship of sales on the first day of the air salon was the Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft, designed for regional routes. Fifteen aircraft were contracted for Rossiya airline, memoranda with Red Wings were signed for 25 aircraft, 10 — with Azimut, 8 — with GTLK and Aurora.

As for our local aircraft manufacturers, a notable event of the first day of MAKS 2021 was the start of the execution of the contract for the supply of 66 medical service aviation helicopters, including 28 Mi-8MTV-1s and 37 Ansats. They are assembled at the Kazan Helicopters. The total value of the transaction concluded between the National Air Medical Services and PSB Leasing is 28 billion rubles. The solemn ceremony of handing over the next helicopter took place at the static exhibition of the Russian Helicopters Holding, where the Mi-8MTV-1 helicopter in the livery of the National Air Medical Services was presented.

“The development of air medical services is one of the priorities of the national project Healthcare. Rostec is implementing a comprehensive project, within the framework of which an air medical service has been created, it is being provided with aircraft, the necessary ground infrastructure is being created, hundreds of flights are operated a year," Sergey Chemezov, the director general of Rostec State Corporation, said at the ceremony. According to him, the contract is to be executed by the end of 2022.

Tatar Day at MAKS 2021

Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov arrived in Zhukovsky near Moscow on the third day of the air salon, on July 22. He had the opportunity to evaluate the advantages of the main aviation novelty Checkmate, after which, accompanied by the director general of Russian Helicopters, he examined the helicopter exposition. Tatarstan enterprises presented the exhibition on an area of 170 square metres. The achievements of the Kazan Aircraft Production Association — branch of Tupolev, Kazan Helicopters and other participating enterprises — were presented there, there were 18 of them in total.

During the tour of the exhibition, the president of Tatarstan was impressed with the light multi-purpose aircraft LMS-901 Baikal, built by the Ural Civil Aviation Plant. It is intended to replace the An-2 biplane aircraft used by farmers. But his alleged colleague, MVEN light aircraft, which also claimed this role, disappeared from the radar. At least, it was not displayed at MAKS 2021. And it is not surprising: this Tatarstan company had serious problems a year ago. As for Baikal, the air show reported that the flight is planned until the end of 2021, and mass production will begin by 2023.

On the same day, Russian Helicopters signed a large state contract for the supply of nine heavy Mi-38PS helicopters worth 14,8 billion rubles. The customer is the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Russian Federation. With its signing, the serial production of the heaviest helicopter in Russia will begin at the Kazan Helicopters. The supplies are to be completed by the end of 2024.

The Mi-38PS is to be built in the Arctic version. Three years ago, the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia allocated 1 billion rubles to expand operational capacities for performing flights at high and low temperatures (from -50°C to +50°C), at high-altitude airfields. Besides, works are to be carried out to increase the resource of the machine, its units and systems (up to one thousand or more hours).

“We have a long and successful history of cooperation with the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Russia, today it is impossible to imagine Russian emergency services without helicopter equipment — it is regularly used in extinguishing fires, search and rescue operations and operations to combat the consequences of natural and man-made disasters. To perform tasks in the most difficult conditions of the Arctic, our colleagues need the most up-to-date equipment, and I am sure that thanks to the improved flight performance, the Mi-38 will become a reliable support in expanding the activities of the Ministry of Emergency Situations in the Far North," said Andrey Boginsky, the director general of Russian Helicopters holding company.

“With the help of special devices, the Mi-38PS will be able to extinguish fires and deal with the consequences of an emergency spill of oil products. Nodes for rigid mooring on the parking lot will allow helicopters to land on icebreaker-class vessels, for example, to be used from icebreakers of the project 22220 (LK-60Ya) of the Arctic type, which will expand the possibilities for the Mi-38 to operate in Arctic latitudes, the press service of Russian Helicopters reported.

Cargo hub in Kazan

On the same day, the government of Tatarstan signed an agreement on strategic partnership with Volga-Dnepr Group.

“In accordance with it, the carriers that are part of it — Volga-Dnepr, AirBridgeCargo, ATRAN — intend to use Kazan International Airport JSC as one of the airports on the territory of the Russian Federation to perform transit and commercial flights," the press service of Volga-Dnepr Group stated.

The joint efforts of the parties, as follows from the same message, “will allow developing and strengthening the infrastructure at the airport to stimulate improving the quality of cargo handling and creating a competitive structure to attract customers and logistics service providers, including for the special cargo such as pharmaceutical products and e-commerce goods”.

Let us remind that it is this cargo carrier that owns the largest cargo board in the world — Ruslan, which during the pandemic helped Tatneft to bring large-sized equipment from China to launch the production of antiseptic disposable masks and protective equipment.

Luiza Ignatyeva