By Rashid Shirinov
Azerbaijan, which possesses a rapidly growing aviation industry, has taken a weighty step in its bid to join the narrow circle of countries, which have developed aircraft building and maintenance industries.
SilkWay Helicopter Services (SWHS), the largest airline operating in the field of small aviation in Azerbaijan and Russian Helicopters holding, signed a letter of intent on the creation of a service center for maintenance and overhaul of helicopters in Azerbaijan on September 27.
The document, which was signed on the sidelines of International Defense Exhibition ADEX 2016, also envisages implementation of service work of helicopters belonging to such important strategic institutions as Ministry of Emergency Situations, Defense Ministry, State Border Service and Main Department of Internal Troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Deputy Director General of Russian Helicopters Igor Chechikov, who was among the signers of the agreement, earlier said that the company would open a center on the maintenance of Mi-8/17 family of helicopters in Azerbaijan. The company is planning to open a service center of MI-8/17 helicopter equipment of civilian designation at the premises of Silk Way Helicopter Services.
Moreover, the possibility of further expansion and implementation of maintenance services for helicopters designed for military use is also under consideration.
Mi-8/17 series is the most successful and the most widely operated in the history of Russia’s helicopter industry due to advanced flight capabilities, high level of reliability and adaptability, ability to operate in a wide range of climatic conditions.
Being a part of Russian State Corporation Rostec, Russian Helicopters is a leading player in the global helicopter industry. Along with being the sole Russian helicopter designer and manufacturer, the holding is considered to be one of the few companies worldwide with the capability to design, manufacture, service and test modern civilian and military helicopters
The fleet of Silk Way Helicopter Services, which is a part of SW Group, includes Sikorsky S-92A, Leonardo Helicopters AW139, Airbus Helicopters AS-332L1, Airbus Helicopters EC-155B1, Мi-8МТВ-1, Мi-8АМТ helicopters, and Cessna 172S airplanes.