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H135 FINAL ASSEMBLY LINE BEGINS OPERATIONS IN CHINA
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
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Qingdao Final Assembly Line

Source: Airbus Helicopters


Qingdao Final Assembly Line

Source: Airbus Helicopters


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QINGDAO, China -- Airbus Helicopters has opened a final assembly line in Qingdao, China, for the H135 helicopter. The facility is the first helicopter final assembly line built by a non-Chinese manufacturer in China, as well as the first H135 final assembly line outside of Europe.

The opening of the line follows a cooperation agreement signed between Airbus Helicopters and China in 2016 for the purchase of 100 H135s destined for the Chinese market. Ninety-five of the helicopters are to be assembled on the line from 2019 onwards. Major components for the helicopters, including the main fuselage, main gearbox kits, and rear fuselage are to be shipped to Qingdao from Donauworth, Germany, and Albacete, Spain.

The 6,500-square-meter Qingdao plant is composed of four working stations, a paint booth, ground and flight test areas, and a delivery center. The site will employ approximately 40 people, 23 of whom received on-the-job training in Donauworth.

The first aircraft roll-out from the Qingdao line is slated to occur in the second half of 2019. Initially, the line will have an annual capacity of 18 helicopters, which could be doubled to accommodate future growth.

"Beginning to manufacture H135s in Qingdao marks the start of a new chapter of Sino-European collaboration, as we become the first foreign helicopter manufacturer to open a manufacturing facility in China," said Marie-Agnes Veve, General Manager of Airbus Helicopters China. "This achievement is a testament to our continued commitment to the Chinese helicopter industry and the strong spirit of cooperation that exists between us and our Chinese partners."

To date, some 1,300 helicopters from the H135 family are in operation around the globe, having achieved more than five million flight hours.

Source:  Airbus Helicopters

 
ROSTEC OPENS HELICOPTER TRAINING CENTER IN VENEZUELA
Thursday, April 18, 2019
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Mi-35

Source: Russian Helicopters


Mi-35

Source: Russian Helicopters


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CARACAS -- Russian defense-aerospace giant Rostec announced in early April that it had inaugurated a new training center in Venezuela for crews of Russian-made military helicopters.

According to Rostec representatives, the training center is intended to train Venezuelan pilots to fly Mi-35M attack helicopters as well as a broader range of Russian-made utility rotorcraft such as the Mi-17 and Mi-27 series. The center was established through a contract with Venezuela's state-owned defense contractor CAVIM.

Alongside these kinds of corporate initiatives, the Russian Government has deployed an increased number of military-technical specialists to Venezuela in recent months and revealed long-term plans to bolster its basing capacity in the country. The Governments of Russia and Venezuela maintain close political and economic ties owing largely to the former's substantial investments in the Venezuelan energy sector.

As Venezuela has become increasingly gripped with domestic economic crisis and escalating tensions with the United States under the leadership of President Nicholas Maduro over the past year, Russia has sought to expand its physical presence in the country as a deterrent and source of complications for potential efforts to oust Maduro from power.

Source:  Moscow Times
Associated URL: Click here to visit

 
AIRBUS HELICOPTERS AWARDED AUSTRALIA’S ARH TIGER SUPPORT CONTRACT EXTENSION
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
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Source: Airbus


Source: Airbus


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BRISBANE -- Airbus has been awarded an extension of the Australian Army’s Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) Tiger through-life support (TLS) contract by the Australian Department of Defense.

Airbus Australia Pacific Managing Director Andrew Mathewson said that the five-year, TLS contract extension reflected the current standing of the Tiger in Australia.

"Airbus is committed to ensuring the success of the Australian ARH Tiger fleet, and we have worked closely with the Australian Army and our industry partners to improve the fleet‘s performance over many years," he said.

The TLS extension covering the ARH program until 2025 includes:

-- More extensive aircraft and component deeper maintenance;

-- Operational maintenance of aircraft allocated to training;

-- Aircrew and technician training including maintenance of training devices;

-- Design services including OEM design incorporation;

-- Systems and software development and testing;

-- Complete parts support including MRO, purchasing, storage and distribution;

-- Technical publications; maintenance policy; and fleet management.

"I’m proud that more than 200 full time positions will remain in Australia to carry out this very important work supporting the Army Aviation Australia-wide, including the creation of apprenticeships in Darwin," he added. "Moreover, our Airbus engineering capabilities continue to expand thanks to this contract, with key software and modifications being developed on Australian soil."

Mathewson also said that there would be a cycle of continuous improvement as Airbus continues to learn from the extensive operational experience gained by Tiger helicopters in other countries.

"This is an aircraft type that will serve on into the 2040s in the worldwide fleet. "We will endeavor to provide the best armed reconnaissance helicopter capability in Australia over the same timeframe," he said.

The two-seater ARH Tiger attack helicopter serves as a key asset for the Australian Army. Today, the fleet of 22 ARH Tiger has flown over 30,000 hours, deployed for day-and-night surveillance and fire-support missions. Globally, 181 Tigers have been delivered to Australia, France, Germany and Spain, and have accumulated over 115,000 flight hours to date. First deployed by the French Army in Afghanistan in 2009, the Tiger continues to demonstrate its essential role on theatres of operation as a highly versatile, stealthy, and maneuverable attack helicopter.

Source:  Airbus
Associated URL: Click here to visit

 

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