Pedro Paulo Rezende
Russian Helicopters (ROSTVERTOL) and Technodinamika, an aeronautic component and services provider group, will form a joint venture for the maintenance of the Mil Mi-171, Mil Mi-35M4 e Kamov Ka-32 aircrafts operated by the Brazilian military. The president of Technodinamika, Maxim Kuzyuk, announced the corporative alliance during LAAD 2015 in Rio de Janeiro. New facilities for this project may be fully operational by 2016. The main focus now is to find Brazilian partners to make plans happen.
According to Kuzyuk, the new helicopter maintenance center would start by establishing a customhouse. A field research would assess what components are in highest demand in order to create a smart stocking system. This process could be completed in six months once the Brazilian partners are chosen.
With this joint-venture, the Russian company aims to get back at the fault-finding given by Brazilian Air Force Command back in 2007, when the Force acquired 12 Mil Mi-35M4 attack helicopters (known inside FAB as AH-2 Sabre). At the moment, one of the units had to be cannibalized to make up for the delay on the delivery of new components.
Another concern surrounding this project is the TV3-117VMA engines manufactured by Ukrainian company Moto Sich. “We are prepared to provide engine parts and, within two years, we will be able to replace them completely by the ones manufactured by Klimov in Russia”, Kuzyuk said.
“We have reopened our industrial plants, but, at the moment, our production line manages to cover only the new aircrafts ordered by the Russian Federation and other foreign customers”, he adds.
The Technodinamika group comprises 36 factories and maintenance centers in Russia, and it will be responsible for the update works on all mechanical parts of Russian helicopters operating in Latin America. Most of these aircrafts – 65% of a grand total of 400 units – were acquired during the Soviet era and are now inoperable. Kuzyuk reckons the post-selling market for aeronautical equipment should reach US$ 130 million by 2020.
The Russian group also plans to create maintenance centers on other Latin-American nations. “[These facilities] could increase continental integration. Each nation could manage specific products, and the Armed Forces could send their aircrafts to their neighbors”, pointed a Rosoboronexport executive.
During LAAD 2015, the Brazilian military has shown an interest in the Kamov Ka-52 Alligator helicopter. The Army is already preparing a formal request for data on the aircraft – the document will provide guidelines for the AH-X Army Aviation competition process. So far, Army pilots have experimented with the Agusta Westland T-129, the Bell AH-1Z Viper and the Mil Mi-28N. in the next few months, a crew will have the opportunity to fly the Ka-52.