Anatoly Serdyukov: 'Today there is no subject where ambulance aviation wouldn't fly'

Rostec is going to finance the construction of two production facilities for 2 billion rubles and will continue to purchase ambulance helicopters for the National Air Ambulance Service (NSSA)

Anatoly Serdyukov: 'Today there is no subject where ambulance aviation wouldn't fly'
Photo: Maksim Platonov

Kazan Helicopters, following Ufa, has joined the race to create a centre for professional training of aviation specialists. On 10 November, the management team of Rostec Group and Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov launched the construction of two new production facilities — the final helicopter assembly shop and the training centre itself with a total cost of 2 billion rubles. It is interesting that initially Rostec Group worked on this project on the basis of the aviation plant, but due to circumstances it was transferred to Ufa, and now it has been returned to its homeland, to Kazan. About other prospects for the Kazan Helicopters at the end of 2021 — read in the report of Realnoe Vremya.

“If we are jealous, then with 'friendly envy”

The top management of Rostec Group arrived in Kazan in full force, and the reason for this was good. The State Corporation approved the construction of the second training and production centre for professional training of specialists, choosing the site of Kazan Helicopters for its location. Prior to that, the pilot centre was opened on the basis of the Ufa Engine Industrial Association (part of the UEC) as part of the final of the WorldSkills championship, which was held in Ufa. And, of course, the interception of the super project caused a bit of jealousy when Rustam Minnikhanov and Sergey Chemezov first saw it in Ufa in August of this year.

“I was very impressed when I saw this centre," Rustam Minnikhanov admitted during the ceremony of laying the foundation of the centre, saying that he was happy for the neighbours and if he was jealous, then with “friendly envy”.

Speaking about the need to create such centre in Kazan, the head of the republic said that “the system of training industrial specialties is fundamentally changing”.

“Tatarstan actively participates in the WorldSkills movement, develops resource centres. But without the participation of the employer, this issue is impossible. This centre will not only train new specialists, but will also become a platform for improving the skills of existing working staff. As a member of the board of directors, I assume control and assure that the leadership of the republic supports this project in every possible way," promised Rustam Minnikhanov.

The area of the professional centre will be comparable to one in Ufa and will amount to 12 thousand square metres. It will train specialists in 12 working professions. The estimated number of students of the centre is about 700 people a year, and the training period will be up to 24 months, it was noted in the presentation of the project.

The training centre and the workshop are scheduled to be commissioned in April 2024.

“First the process stalled”

Later, Anatoly Serdyukov, the industrial director of the Rostec aviation cluster, revealed some details of the creation of the Kazan centre. It turns out that it was conceived two years ago on the basis of the aviation plant in Kazan, but due to technical difficulties it was moved to Ufa.

“In fact, we planned at the aircraft factory," he said. “This elaboration has been going on for the last two years. But due to various circumstances, including technical and financial, the process stalled, and the first center was opened in Ufa, and the second — at the request of Russian Helicopters — will be here.”

According to him, there is a great demand for it, since several Rostec defense enterprises associated with the aviation complex work in Kazan.

NSSA will continue to expand the fleet of ambulance helicopters

Another good news was Rostec's promise to continue purchasing helicopters for the National Air Ambulance Service (NSSA). Next year, Kazan Helicopters completes the execution of the first major contract for the construction of 66 ambulance helicopters worth 28 billion rubles. As part of it, 28 Mi-8MTV-1 and 37 Ansats were built.

The correspondent of Realnoe Vremya asked the industrial director of the aviation cluster of Rostec Group whether there were plans to load the Kazan Helicopters for 2023-2024.

“The next contract will definitely be no less than the current one," Anatoly Serdyukov assured. “Today there is no subject where ambulance aviation wouldn't fly. These machines have proven themselves well, and the service itself is in demand in the country. The project has a lot of federal support, so the project will develop.”

However, the ambulance helicopter has limitations — it needs to be changed in 8-10 years, Serdyukov added. But he refrained from naming specific figures, assuring that purchases would continue in 2023-2024.

Moving away from the main topic, the speakers discussed what new products would be presented at the Dubai Airshow 2021 aerospace exhibition. It opens in November.

“We already brought an Ansat helicopter to Dubai two years ago, this year there will be an Ansat helicopter with the Aurus brand, there will be a separate exposition. We are announcing Business Jet and Superjet in the style of Aurus... There will be an Ansat with a medical module, a K-226 helicopter, a Mi-171A2 helicopter," said Andrey Boginsky, the head of Russian Helicopters.

But the main novelties will be the export models of the Mi-28 and Ka-52, he said.

The training plans for the retraining of aviation specialists will be prepared with the participation of Kazan National Research Technical University named after A.N. Tupolev (KNRTU-KAI).

“The work of this centre is impossible without the participation of our university," Sergey Mikhailov, the vice-rector of the KNRTU-KAI, told Realnoe Vremya. “We were in Ufa at the Ufa Motor-Building Production Association, where there is a training and production centre of 14,5 thousand square metres. We have 12 thousand, but there will also be an assembly plant nearby.”

He noted the advantage of the future Kazan Helicopters centre, which will be closely connected with the actual assembly. According to him, both active workers and engineers, as well as college and university graduates will be trained here: “College graduates have come, they need to adapt to the specifics of production. Now they have universal training: there is no separation into the airplane and the helicopter. And here, in practice, they will have the opportunity to bring their competencies to the specifics of helicopter production.” Currently, about 20 graduates of the KNRTU-KAI are employed at the Kazan Helicopters, but with the expansion of the output volume, the demand will increase, Mikhailov predicts.

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Luiza Ignatyeva. Photo: Maksim Platonov
Tatarstan