Abu Dhabi-based Paramount, AAL Group Tests Composite Helicopter Blades for Mi-Type Helicopters

Amid rotor blade supply challenges, composite blade production offers a source for sustained operations.
  • Defensemirror.com Bureau
  • 11:43 AM, November 17, 2023
  • 1019
Abu Dhabi-based Paramount, AAL Group Tests Composite Helicopter Blades for Mi-Type Helicopters
Mi-type composite helicopter blades @Paramount Group

Paramount, in collaboration with strategic partner AAL Group Ltd, has completed the initial testing phase of their composite helicopter blades designed for Mi-type helicopters.

The blades were showcased at the Dubai Airshow and successfully tested in the U.A.E. by AAL Group Composite. The testing, part of a strategic partnership, will continue to achieve full qualification.

The accomplishment marks a crucial step towards initiating composite blade production at AAL's MRO facilities in Sharjah, U.A.E. These composite blades surpass the technical characteristics of traditional metal blades, offering operational advantages. Notably, they allow for the replacement of individual damaged blades, ensuring cost-efficiency and minimal downtime. Damaged blades can be swiftly repaired on-site, reducing turnaround time.

Following the strategic partnership announcement on February 21, 2023, Paramount and AAL Group are collaborating to enhance Mi-type helicopter capabilities globally.

Paramount initiated the development of composite main rotor blades in 2006, responding to customer requirements. These blades are designed to match the functional and performance capabilities of metal blades, allowing for individual replacement without modifying the aircraft platform. With an operational life of up to 20,000 hours and infinite shelf life, these composite blades offer substantial cost savings over time.

Abu Dhabi-based Paramount, AAL Group Tests Composite Helicopter Blades for Mi-Type Helicopters

Global shortage of Mi helicopter spare parts

Iraq plans to replace its Russian Mi-17 Hip helicopters with U.S.-made Bell 412EPXs and Bell 412Ms due to the reduced availability of Mi-17 spare parts caused by Russia's focus on its conflict in Ukraine. The Iraqi Army is also considering acquiring helicopters from Bell, which is actively pursuing new market opportunities arising from the Ukraine conflict.

Ukraine has reportedly agreed to provide Mi-17 helicopter engines to Pakistan in exchange for ongoing defense equipment support. Pakistan signed a $1.5 million deal in April 2023 for Mi-17 helicopter engines and spare parts, as per unconfirmed reports.

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