According to the US National Interest website, in 2016, Moscow and Beijing signed an agreement to jointly develop advanced civilian helicopters for the Chinese market. JSC Russian Helicopters, as a part of the Russian State Technology Group, has provided assistance to Chinese partners in the development of helicopters.
According to reports, China has become the largest operator of Russian helicopters in the Asia-Pacific region. This is achieved after years of cooperation between the two countries.
The “Defense Blog” website recently reported that China has placed a new order with Russia for 121 helicopters.
According to the report of the Russian National Technology Group, China has purchased 68 Mi-171 helicopters
(including upgraded Mi-171E), 18 Mi-171Sh helicopters (military transport)
14 Mi-171 helicopters with VK-2500 engines, 21 Ansat helicopters.
The Russian side stated that most of the orders are for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), but it is not clear what capacity these helicopters will be used in. It may be similar to the role in the Russian army, or it may be made in China.
Use with straight-8L transport helicopter.
US media said that the Russian Helicopter Company has provided China with a multifunctional Mi-171E helicopter. This model is equipped with an auxiliary power unit to provide air for the engine starter or environmental control system, and can carry large cargo weighing 4 tons.
The Mi-171Sh was originally designed as a means of transportation and can be used for a range of missions, including air assault troops, cargo transportation, troop fire support, air-to-ground attack, escorting military columns, medical evacuation, and combat search and rescue (CSAR) operations. This helicopter has all-weather capability.
It is characterized by a five-blade main rotor, a tail rotor, and a non-retractable nose gear. The glass cockpit can accommodate three crew members, and the main cabin can accommodate up to 36 soldiers or 12 auxiliary stretchers.
Mi-171 also has armed attack capabilities
In August of this year, the Russian military announced the upgrade of the Mi-171Sh “Storm” helicopter, which will be equipped with missiles. However, there are media reports that the new model will not be put into production within two years.