MSPO 2015: Ukrainian Industry in Kielce. In Search Of Cooperation With Poland

  • Fot. Andrzej Hrechorowicz/Kancelaria Prezydenta
    Fot. Andrzej Hrechorowicz/Kancelaria Prezydenta
  • Fot. Energa
    Fot. Energa

Motor Sich and Antonov companies are the primary, but not the only Ukrainian exhibitors taking part in the Kielce Salon. These companies are looking forward to cooperate with the Polish and the Western aerospace and defence industries, offering their world-class products.

Motor Sich is a top class manufacturer of aviation engines, offering powerplants for the helicopters and the fixed-wing aircraft. Up until now, the company has been deeply involved in cooperation with the Russian manufacturers, delivering the engines for numerous civil and military aircraft, and for all of the Russian Helicopters rotor-craft. Zaporozhe engines are also used in case of the Ukrainian Antonov jets, including the latest aircraft designed at the Bureau, the An-178, which made its maiden flight in spring this year.

Motor Sich is very interested in the option of maintaining the W-3 Sokół helicopters manufactured by the PZL-Świdnik company. Replacing the PZL-10W engines, with much more powerful MS-500V ones would guarantee proper performance for the helicopter. This would make it possible to export the Sokół rotor-craft to the Asian or to the African markets. Increased take-off power (from 900 HP for PZL-10W, up to 1500 HP), with maintained weight and dimension stems from a generation gap between these two powerplants. MS-500V engine was demonstrated at the booth of the Ukrainian company.

MS-500V Engine. Image Credit: J.Sabak

Not only is the Motor-Sich interested in modernizing the W-3 Sokól helicopters, the company also expressed its will to carry out works in case of other helicopters manufactured in Poland. Cooperation with the Polish facilities would make it possible to carry out modernization of these aircraft, in line with the international law and – thanks to the fact that the Ukrainians would have access to the documentation – the process would be sped-up.

We want to modernize helicopters that were or that are manufactured in Poland. We are manufacturing new, turbine engines for the An-2 aircraft. New engines for the Mi-2 and W-3 Sokół helicopters. We have researched the situation in South Korea, China or India. There, a great need exists to acquire medium-sized helicopters, weighing around 6 tonnes. This is the category within which the Sokół can be placed. It is a very successful design, in a class which is quite popular all around the world. These helicopters are going to be most commonly used. If one replaced the W-3 helicopter’s powerplant with a more powerful engine, its performance, load capacity and operating weight are all going to be significantly increased.

Viacheslav Boguslayev, President of the Motor-Sich plant.

Motor-Sich acquired and repairs the second-hand W-3 Sokół helicopters. However, the Zaporozhe based company does not limit its activities to Poland. It does not wait for the Polish companies to note that there is an option of cooperation. Currently, the Ukrainian producer finishes the works related to modernization and engine replacement of the Mi-2 helicopters, designated as Mi-2MSB. This variant already has made its maiden flight, it is being currently certified. MSB-2 design with conformal fuel tanks and digital avionics has also been developed. Its model, along with a Mi-8MSB scale model, have been presented within the booth.

model MSB-2
MSB-2 Light Helicopter. Image Credit: J. Sabak

The company also looks for options of cooperation with the enterprises coming from the EU, without limiting the scope of the offer down to the rotor-craft. Austrian Diamond DA50 aircraft which made its maiden flight this year, features a Ukrainian power-plant - the AI-450S engine. In the future, a similar propulsion system is going to be provided for the twin-engine Diamond DA52 model. The company also works on modernization of the An-2 aircraft which are quite popular. The Russian transport aircraft has been manufactured by the Mielec based aviation plant. The prototype fitted with a turboprop engine, replacing the traditional piston-driven propulsion, has already made its maiden flight as well. MS-14 engine, used in this application, has also been presented in Kielce.

MS-14 Engine. Image Credit: J.Sabak

Another interesting proposal stems from an option of joint-modernizing the post-Soviet equipment within the foreign markets, particularly in Asia, where such equipment is still used quite widely. 

Mi-8MSB Helicopter. Image Credit: J.Sabak

Antonov Design Bureau manufactures cargo and specialized aircraft for military and civilian applications. The Antonov company is interested in cooperation with Poland, not only within the scope of modernizing the An-2 aircraft, as the Ukrainian bureau is also curious about using numerous components and generators coming from Poland, in order to replace the parts that – so far – were being acquired from the Russians. However, more ambitious joint projects are also planned, including an initiative related to the An-148-300 MP patrol aircraft. Secondly, development of a successor for the M28 Skytruck aircraft manufactured in Mielec was also discussed. Antonov may also get the Polish companies involved in the production process related to the latest cargo aircraft, including An-178, An-70, or its turbojet An-188 variant. 

Additionally, offer of the Helitraining company is also interesting. The said company deals with pilots training and it manufactures advanced helicopter simulators. The Ukrainian producer would like to establish a Mi-2/Mi-8/17 simulator centre in Poland. Poland, for at least 10-15 years, is still going to use a large quantity of the Mi-17 helicopters, even though 50 examples of the H225M Caracal rotor-craft are being acquired. There is also no plan of replacing the Mi-2 helicopter in the Polish Army.

Image Credit: J. Sabak

Another area of cooperation may be seen in a training centre for the Airbus H135 and H145 helicopter pilots, and for the pilots of the Embraer airliners. Negotiations within that scope are in process, they are related both to certification, as well as to the potential establishment of a proper location and infrastructure, within the territory of Poland. Thanks to this type of operations, it would be possible to train helicopter pilots coming from Poland (working for the emergency services) or Northern and Western Europe. H135/145 helicopters and Embraer airliners are very popular among the European operators.