Tuesday, March 26, 2013

■ SOUTH AFRICA: Denel Aviation to open sub-Saharan Africa's first Russian Helicopters MRO facility in due course.

DenelDenel Aviation, a division of South Africa's government-backed Denel Corporation, is to unveil the first MRO facility in sub-Saharan Africa catering for Mil and Kamov military and utility helicopters, both of which are manufactured by Moscow-based Russian Helicopters.

Egyptian Air Force Mi-8 in Egypt
Egyptian Air Force Mi-8
Denel CEO Mike Kgobe told The Associated Press that South Africa’s and Russia’s membership of the BRICS economic forum eased the way for two years of negotiations with Russian Helicopters. 

Kgobe also said the new facility in Johannesburg will start off servicing Mi-8 and Mi-17 choppers.

The launch of the MRO hub follows the signing of an agreement between Denel and Russian Helicopters at the 7th Africa Aerospace and Defence Exhibition (AAD) held last year at Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria.

In October 2012, Denel Aviation technical staff were sent to Russia to attend an intensive training programme to study Russian Helicopter's latest technology and procedures in the eastern Siberian city of Novosibirsk.