160 Italian helicopters for Russian shelf

An estimated $3 billion is to be invested in the Russian-Italian helicopter cooperation.

Oil company Rosneft scraps Russian manufacturers, acquires 160 copters from Italian manufactorer AgustaWestland for offshore Arctic projects. 


In a meeting with Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev this week, Rosneft President Igor Sechin underlined that his company remains committed to a deal with Italian Finmeccanica on the construction of a major fleet of new helicopters. Rosvertol, the Russian helicopter manufacturer, is part of the deal and will participate in construction processes, Sechin said.

In the deal signed late 2014, Rosneft and Finmeccanica agreed about the establishment of a joint venture on AgustaWestland helicopter production.

The joint venture, to be based on the already existing Helivert company, will deliver 160 helicopters of the model AW189, all of them to be applied by Rosneft in offshore projects, a company press release reads.

The Helivert company is a joint venture of AgustaWestland and Rosvertol and is based in new production premises outside Moscow. Helivert also deliveres helicopters of the model AW139.

Rosneft has more than 50 offshore licenses, most of them in the Arctic, and is in dire need for  air support for project development.

Currently, Rosneft primarily hires services from companies like Yutair, the airline company which has a fleet of 350 helicopters, most of them Rosvertol’s Mi-models.

The new AW189 is a civilian model of the military AW149 tailored for offshore helicopter support, search and rescue  and passenger transportation. It has room for 19 passengers and a range of more than 900 km.