Turbomeca consolidates leadership in Russia
Gazpromavia is the air transport arm of the company Gazprom, the Russian energy giant. It recently acquired eight Eurocopter EC135 T2i helicopters, which will be powered by the Arrius 2B2 turboshaft engine. "The Arrius 2B2 is the latest member of an exceptional family of engines, which have now logged nearly five million hours in flight," notes Valéry Krol, large corporates account manager. "It's an exceptionally reliable and robust engine, and is designed to handle the extreme conditions that are very common in Russia." The Arrius 2B2 offers average time between overhauls (TBO) of 4,000 hours, the best in its class. Furthermore, it is certified to operate with Russian-standard fuel and at temperatures down to -45°C.
Local support, the key to success
Another key to the engine's success is local support. Back in 2006 Turbomeca signed a licensing agreement with Gazpromavia, allowing it to service Turbomeca engines in Russia. "At that time Gazpromavia only had an Arrius 2F-powered EC120, but we counted on their continued growth, and events have shown that we were right," adds Valéry Krol. Gazpromovia's service center, already certified for field and shop level maintenance on the Arrius 2F, will shortly provide staff training to handle the Arrius 2B2. Gazpromavia has invested considerable financial and technical resources to ensure that its MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) services meet Turbomeca's standards.
The creation of local service centers reflects Turbomeca's development strategy in Russia, which also includes taking part in the manufacture of Russian helicopters. One of the most striking examples is the Arrius 2G1 engine that powers the Kamov Ka-226T helicopter. The agreement was signed in 2008, and helicopter certification is expected by the end of the year.
Turbomeca has also signed two agreements in principle with the holding company Russian Helicopters, to provide powerplants for two helicopters: the Mi-34S2 light single-engine machine, to be powered by the Arrius 2F, and the Kamov Ka-62, a twin-engine machine in the 6.5 ton class, powered by the Ardiden 3G (MoU signed in early 2010). Discussions are under way concerning other helicopter programs, and further agreements would enable Turbomeca to maintain its position as the leading Western engine supplier in this very promising market.
* Accord conclu fin 2008, avec une certification de l'hélicoptère attendue pour fin 2011.
** Signature d'un MOU début 2010.