Russian Helicopters holding company, a part of Rostec State Corporation, has delivered the first Ansat helicopter to Emercom, the Russian Emergencies Ministry. The rotorcraft was transferred to the foundation supporting the development of state authorities in civil defence, emergencies and natural disaster management. The helicopter has already been handed over to Emercom's northwestern aviation and rescue centre, and is located on Kasimovo Airfield.
Kazan Helicopters and the foundation signed the contract for supply in March 2019. The Ansat was handed over to the customer in standard configuration; the cabin has places for installing a medical module, and there are seven passenger seats. At Emercom's northwestern aviation and rescue centre, the Ansat will be used for transporting staff, cargo and equipment in the cabin or on an external sling, and to tackle special tasks.
Currently, the helicopter is in pilot operation in the centre. During drills, pilots train to perform landing in various ways, piloting at low and extremely low altitudes, and master a new flying technique in various flight modes.
“The Ansat has been supplied to Emercom for the first time, and we are convinced that the agency specialists will appreciate it," says Yuri Pustovgarov, managing director of Kazan Helicopters. "The use of Ansat helicopters for air medical services has shown that its light weight, manoeuvrability and agility, as well as its high degree of readiness for take-off, address a wide variety of tasks, including those in an urban environment. Due to the cooperation of various Rostec companies, the rotorcraft is constantly being improved and new capabilities are being added: certificates for an emergency flotation system, and for installation of a neonatal transport module have recently been received, and other modules for the helicopter are being designed.
As part of a programme to develop air medical services in Russia, about 30 helicopters have been supplied to customers, which are being used for transporting patients from hard-to-reach areas to medical facilities. Ansat helicopters are saving people's lives in the regions of Moscow, Volgograd, Kurgan, Kirov, Kostroma, Tver, Pskov, Nizhny Novgorod, Chelyabinsk, Astrakhan and in the Republic of Tatarstan. The number of regions where the helicopters are being used is constantly increasing.
In late 2019, two Mi-8MTV-1 helicopters made by Kazan Helicopters were also handed over to Emercom of Russia. Under the contract with the foundation, one of the helicopters is equipped with an external sling, which allows the transport of large cargo weighing up to four tonnes. The second Mi-8MTV-1 helicopter is to be handed over to the Zhukovsky aviation and rescue centre. The multipurpose Mi-8MTV-1 helicopter can be used for search and rescue operations, medical evacuation, firefighting, reconnaissance and monitoring of terrain and air transportation.
Russian Helicopters has now obtained approval from the Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya) to install isolation units in Ansat multipurpose helicopters to transport patients with COVID-19. The modules will be installed on medevac configured Ansats.
“Currently, about 30 Ansat helicopters have been supplied to the Russian regions for air medical services. To improve their performance during the pandemic, we have launched the certification process and obtained permission to install isolation units for transporting patients. This does not require modification of an aircraft. Such equipment will provide more opportunities to use an aircraft for medical purposes," says executive director of Rostec Oleg Yevtushenko.
In their in air ambulance configuration Ansat helicopters carry out the service of rescuing people, making regular flights for medical evacuation, regardless of the time of day. The helicopters are used in the Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Kirov, Kostroma, Tver, Chelyabinsk, Belgorod, Volgograd and Astrakhan regions and in the Republic of Tatarstan, among others.
"All work necessary to obtain approval from the Russian aviation authorities has been carried out within a short period of time. The Ansat helicopter was primarily equipped with a cabin for patients with infectious diseases to facilitate operation of the existing aircraft already used for air medical services; it will be possible to use those aircraft for combating COVID-19, and transport patients who could have highly dangerous infections and viruses," states director general of Russian Helicopters Andrey Boginsky.