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Russia’s Rostech teams up with UAE strategic developer to produce new light helicopters

The Russian government commission that examines foreign investments has approved a deal reached between VR-Technologies (VRT), a subsidiary of Russian Helicopters, and the Abu Dhabi-based Tawazun Strategic Development Fund.

According to the press office of the Russian government, the joint venture is aimed at developing and manufacturing new helicopter models designed by the Russian company.

VR Technologies, a unit of Russian Helicopters, is operated by Russia’s state-owned Rostech corporation. The subsidiary, set up in 2014, develops helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles. Strategic Development Fund, an investment arm of Tawazun Economic Council, reportedly focuses on financial return and economic impact within strategic sectors.




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The parties announced plans for the joint venture as early as in November 2019. Back then, the companies said that that the defense and security industry development arm of the United Arab Emirates had been planning to take a 50-percent stake in VR Technologies.

The enterprises agreed to investing $442.6 million, with the deal also affording Tawazun equal representation on the board of VR Technologies.

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The joint venture could see the launch of an assembly line in the UAE for the VRT-500 helicopter, a light helicopter currently under development by VR Technologies, the director-general of Russian Helicopters Andrey Boginsky told journalists after the deal was signed.

The first flight of the VRT-500 is reportedly scheduled for first quarter of 2020, with the company targeting sales of up to a thousand VRT-500s by 2035.

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