Russian Helicopters is to start work this year on a Rb1.15 billion ($34 million) effort to certificate its developmental Ka-62 utility helicopter to ICAO standards, in a bid to increase its export sales prospects, says Sergei Mikheyev from the Kamov design house.
"We have to complete certification in the next year,” Mikheyev says. “Then the civil markets of any country will be open to us. Practice has shown that the military do not guarantee the number of orders that we would wish to achieve.”
According to documents issued by the Russian trade and industry ministry and quoted by Russian media, initial certification work beginning this spring will include updates to existing documentation – as a result of trials already conducted on the two existing Ka-62 flight-test prototypes – followed by static ground tests and flight trials.
After December 2014, the Ka-62 will receive an anti-icing system, birdstrike-proof transparencies and an engine and transmission health monitoring system, as well as changes required by the installation of the Turbomeca Ardiden 3G turboshaft engines, Kamov says.
The Russian government has already spent Rb2 billion in additional changes to the Ka-62, according to local media, mainly on the integration of the Ardiden engine in place of the troubled Russian-made NPO Saturn RD-600 turboshaft used on its military predecessor, the Ka-60.
Russian Helicopters has already secured two export deals for the 6.5t type, with Brazil's Atlas Taxi Aereo to take seven and Colombian operator Vertical de Aviacion ordering five.
The airframer has yet to indicate if either of the prototypes to be used for the certification effort has flown. According to company documents, assembly work on the two flight-test examples was due to have been completed by late 2013.