Wednesday, September 15, 2010

First Eurocopter EC135 Delivered with Russian Avionics

Eurocopter Vostok delivered the first EC135 T2i helicopters, part of a purchase contract for eight EC135 helicopters in passenger configuration, to Gazpromavia at Eurocopter’s facility in Donauw√∂rth, Germany. This EC135 is the first Eurocopter helicopter equipped with Russian-built mission avionics, produced by Transas Aviation – a leading Russian avionics manufacturer based in St. Petersburg.

Victor Rakhmanko, head of the transport division of Gazprom, Andrey Ovcharenko, general director of Gazpromavia, Wolfgang Schoder, CEO of Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH and Laurence Rigolini, CEO of Eurocopter Vostok were all present at the handover ceremony.

“The EC135’s introduction into our fleet is a milestone event for Gazpromavia, and its Russian content has enabled the perfect customization of this reliable and efficient helicopter to our operational needs,” said Gazpromavia’s general director Andrey Ovcharenko. “We plan to extend our strategic partnership with Eurocopter – particularly in the field of training services – which will be in addition to the operations support and maintenance provided by the company in our facility at Ostafievo airport.”

Gazpromavia is the general air carrier of Russia’s Gazprom energy company and is one of the country’s 10 largest airlines.

“We can confidently state this contract lays the foundation for long-term fruitful cooperation between Gazpromavia, Eurocopter Vostok and Transas Aviation,” said Nikolai Lebedev, the president of Transas group. “Not only are such contracts of interest to the participating parties, they also confirm the potential of Russia in the field of avionics development and manufacturing.”

Laurence Rigolini said the EC135 T2i helicopters will be operated in challenging weather conditions throughout Russia. Eurocopter Vostok is Eurocopter’s subsidiary that provides sales, customer support and fleet follow-up for the company’s helicopters in Russia and the CIS. “We eagerly look forward to the first operational results with the EC135 T2i,” she added. “This mutual program will contribute to strengthening our footprint in Russia, and we are confident these helicopters will fly high in Gazpromavia’s colors throughout the country’s skies.”

The twin-engine EC135 is a highly sophisticated, multi-purpose helicopter featuring cutting-edge technology that makes it the perfect choice for various missions with operators worldwide. To date, Eurocopter has delivered more than 850 EC135s to customers in 40 different countries.

Gazpromavia is one of the leading helicopter operators in Russia, with the fleet of 108 rotary-wing aircraft – mainly of Russian manufacture. Since 2006, Gazpromavia has operated Eurocopter’s EC120, and a maintenance center for Eurocopter helicopters was created at its facility in Ostafievo.

Transas Aviation is a leader in the field of avionics, navigation software and flight simulators of all certification levels. The company has its own production and test laboratory facilities, and it acquires all the necessary licenses and certificates. Transas Aviation is a subsidiary of the Transas group of companies, which occupies a leading position on the global market in the development and manufacture of systems and equipment to ensure safety for sea, rail and air transport.

Eurocopter Vostok, a 100% wholly-owned subsidiary of Eurocopter SAS, was created in 2006 to provide sales, customer support, and to implement fleet follow-up in Russia and CIS. More than 70 Eurocopter helicopters currently are operating throughout Russia, with more than 50 in CIS countries – bringing the Eurocopter Group’s share of the Russian gas turbine market for Western turbine-engine helicopters to 70 percent.

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