The wide coverage of the recent visit of the Minister of Trade and Industry of Manturov to Abu Dhabi contained many details about the diplomatic "successes" of Denis Valentinovich. Among the achievements is the sale of a share of BP-Technologies LLC to the Tawazun Arab company and its planned investments in the VRT500 helicopter construction project. However, nowhere, including in the official part of the visit, it was not mentioned that the Russian Helicopters holding company will be building the “new Arabian” helicopter VRT500 in Italy.
The authoritative specialized publication “AVIATION WEEK” reported this with reference to the director general of BP-Technologies LLC Alexander Okhonko. According to the mentioned edition, on November 18, at the Dubai Airshow, Okhonko said that they are planning to build a new single-engine light helicopter VRT500 of Russian Helicopters in Italy. The publication also reports that this step (for the production of a helicopter in Italy), described in detail by Alexander Okhonko, is perceived by the radical departure of the Russian side from its principles, since previously all Russian developments were traditionally carried out domestically.
Italy has already taken part in the development of the VRT500 helicopter. As previously reported by the state corporation ROSTEH, the helicopter design was carried out by ItalDesign, which, however, had previously been involved in the development of car designs, including such cars as Alfa Romeo, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati. It should be noted that attracting a clearly not cheap designer to the development of a helicopter reduces its competitive advantages, since these costs will undoubtedly be included in the cost of the final product. Unless, of course, as usual, Helicopters of Russia JSC will not compensate for its miscalculations at the expense of the Russian budget.
Back in April 2019, Alexander Okhonko noted that: “VRT500 will become a competitive product in the market of light single-engine helicopters and will allow the holding to enter the segment in which it is not yet represented. Russian Helicopters sees Europe as a potential market, and therefore we plan to apply for certification of the helicopter with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) this year. ”
Thus, the news about the planned deployment of VRT500 production in Italy fully fits into the holding’s plans to “conquer Europe”. It’s just not clear why these plans are for the Russian taxpayers, for whose funds the holding is maintained?
Job creation for Italians
It seems that this information is not accidentally kept silent in the Russian press. After all, everyone knows that the Helicopters of Russia holding created by Denis Maturov has recently existed mainly due to budget injections of the Ministry of Industry and Trade on various "endless" developments, as well as funds from the Ministry of Defense for state defense orders. Achievements of the holding on the free market are negligible - this was officially recognized by the holding's management back in 2016. "Version" wrote about this just recently. As follows from official reports, the VRT500 helicopter was created by a subsidiary of the holding company VR-Technologies. The question arises - for what money? Most likely, funds having an initial budgetary origin (redistributed within the holding) were spent on the maintenance of their “daughter”.
Earlier, our publication, after analyzing the “latest development” of VRT500 holding, came to the conclusion that this machine is not relevant for the Russian market. These conclusions were indirectly confirmed by the "author" of the Okhonko project, saying that even the VRT500 production is planned to be located in Italy. Indeed, why bother with production in Russia if this machine (as previously the Superjet) was created mainly on the basis of a western configuration?
All of the above suggests that the Helicopters of Russia holding, created by Denis Manturov, while reducing the workers of controlled enterprises in Russia, at the same time creates jobs for Italians.
According to the publication Aviation EXplorer with reference to the head of the holding Andrey Boginsky, the partners (Tawazun and Russian Helicopters) plan to invest about 400 million euros on a parity basis. When organizing the production of VRT500 in Italy, this means that at least 200 million euros, which make up the Russian part of the investment, can go to support the Italian proletariat. If this is not enough, then perhaps Sergey Chemezov will again turn to Vladimir Putin and ask for additional money, as he does regularly.
It is clear that the holding does not have such funds. One gets the impression that he has not been creating anything sensible for a long time. All, due to which the “financial well-being” of the top of the holding is formed, is money received from controlled enterprises, which the state transferred to the holding free of charge. And if earlier the funds from the income of enterprises came in the form of dividends to the budget of the country, now it seems that they are “wandering” according to a complex scheme: first they get into Russian Helicopters JSC as dividends (part settles there), then also in as dividends, the remainder goes to ROSTECH. Judging by the fact that Sergei Chemezov constantly asks the state for money, nothing to this state itself comes from the activities of an entire helicopter industry. This circumstance is very similar to the scheme of legalized capital withdrawal past the Russian budget. Now the Italians may also be the beneficiaries of this process, if the holding company starts the construction of a helicopter in Italy.
In connection with the foregoing, a number of reasonable questions arise, the intelligible answers to which are unlikely to be found among the holding, ROSTEKh and the Ministry of Industry and Trade:
- Why does the Russian state holding, which should develop its own production create jobs in other countries?
- Why are such acts ultimately financed by the Russian budget?
- Why create a helicopter, obviously not acceptable for the Russian market at the same time as foreign cars have long and confidently been in the Russian market in this class?
It is time to look for answers to these questions to the Russian competent authorities. But, apparently, while they cannot afford to ask them responsible for domestic industry Denis Manturov, who, apparently, has very serious patrons in the Kremlin.
Creating a joint heavy helicopter for the Chinese from the same "opera". In case of success of this project, over which the Manturov holding has been working so long and hard, it will be possible to close the production of the giant Mi-26 helicopter in Rostov. Why do you need to create your own strong competitor in an area where Russia has no equal? From a logical point of view, it is impossible to explain.
Recently, the Tatarstan publication “Business ONLINE” summed up the opinion of the leaders of a number of defense enterprises of the republic who consider themselves “hostages” of the current model of managing the Russian industry. This opinion is not an isolated one, the mediocrity that permeated the entire upper echelon has already become apparent even to the lower echelon. It should be added that all these strange decisions are ultimately paid by the population of Russia, because it is not out of their own pocket that the top of the helicopter holding plans to finance all its extremely dubious actions.