Paramount Group yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Motor Sich JSC of the Ukraine to collaborate in the production and modernisation of helicopters and aviation engineering components.
The signing, which was witnessed by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, commits the two companies to exploring the opportunity of transferring technologies that exist in both companies, relating to rotary platforms, Paramount said. The signing took place during IDEX 2015 in Abu Dhabi.
Paramount Group’s Advanced Technologies business unit is ideally placed to collaborate with Motor Sich as it produces the Super Hind attack helicopter, based on the Mi-24 platform. Paramount recently announced a ramping up of the production of its Mi-24 and Mi-17 composite rotor blades, which are key components of the Super Hind programme.
Composite rotor blades outlast the life of the helicopter, whereas metal blades have to be replaced several times during the helicopter’s life span. Compared with metal blades which have to be replaced set-by-set, composite rotor blades can be replaced blade-by-blade and are more damage tolerant in operation. The blades can also be introduced without changing the helicopter’s rotor head – a world first, according to Paramount. Ivor Ichikowitz, Executive Chairman of Paramount Group, said the restarting of blade production was “huge” for the South African industry as the Mi-17 and Mi-24 series of helicopters are very prolific, with some 3 000 flying, each with five main rotor blades. In the past Russian Helicopters has controlled the supply of rotor blades.
“We have had a long-standing working relationship over many years with Motor Sich and this agreement takes our collaboration to the next level. We have known for some time that there are areas of unique synergies between our companies, so today’s signing marks a commitment to enhancing our level of collaboration,” Ichikowitz said yesterday.
Motor Sich JSC is one of the largest aircraft engine makers in the world, producing both aeroplane and helicopter engines, as well as industrial gas turbines. The company’s collaboration with Paramount is part of the Ukraine’s efforts to diversify away from Russia, particularly in the aviation industry, and find new suppliers and customers.