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Russia will start exporting Ansat light multipurpose helicopters in 2009,
Russia will start exporting Ansat light multipurpose helicopters in 2009, a helicopter industry official said on Friday.

The Ansat, a light multipurpose helicopter developed by the Kazan Helicopter Plant (KVZ), is capable of carrying a pilot and nine passengers. It has a maximum take off weight of 3.3 tons, a maximum payload of one metric ton, and a cruising speed of 250 km/h.

It has been produced in Russia for the domestic market since 2005.

"As for Ansat exports, we sold several aircraft to South Korea, but have not concluded any major contracts," Andrei Shibitov, head of helicopter manufacturing group Russian Helicopters, said at the HeliRussia 2008 exhibition currently running in Moscow May 15-17.

"We are holding talks with potential customers in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Latin America," he said.

The helicopter is powered by two Pratt&Whitney engines and has several modifications, including transport, search-and-rescue, training and medevac.

The training version of the Ansat helicopter will enter service with Russia's Air Force by 2010, once government tests and initial operation with military units have been completed.

"The Air Force will need 25-30 Ansat machines immediately, and then the number will increase," Maj. Gen. Viktor Ivanov, head of the Armed Forces Army Aviation Directorate, said in January.


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