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New Russian helicopter set back by Canadian firm's withdrawal


MOSCOW, May 21 (RIA Novosti) - The production of a new Russian Mi-38 transport helicopter has been delayed until 2014 due to the expected withdrawal of a Canadian engine maker from the project, the project director said on Thursday.

Pratt & Whitney Canada and Helicopters of Russia signed in May 2008 a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to produce the PW127TS engine for Russia's new-generation Mi-38 twin-engine medium-lift helicopter.

"Unfortunately, starting this year the [Mi-38] helicopter may lose the engine that has been originally designed for it. It seems that our Canadian partners from Pratt & Whitney are planning to pull out from the project," said Georgy Sinelshchikov, general director of the Moscow Helicopter Plant.

Until recently the implementation of the project had been held back by Pratt & Whitney, which failed to fulfill its obligations under the 2008 agreement apparently due to the U.S. embargo on sales of dual-purpose equipment to Russia, the official said.

Pratt & Whitney Canada, based in Longueuil, Quebec, is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft engines powering business, general aviation and regional aircraft and helicopters.

"We are planning to install the new Russian-made TV7-117V engine on Mi-38 helicopters instead," Sinelshchikov said.

The MI-38 helicopter is being developed by the Moscow Helicopter Plant and belongs to increased-lift-capacity class of helicopters. Accommodating up to 30 passengers, with a payload of 5 tons, the MI-38 is a utility helicopter, which can be used for civilian and military purposes.

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