Paramount Aerospace Systems, is now in a partnership with AAL Group Ltd to market Mi-type helicopter solutions production of Mi main and tail rotor composite helicopter blades, from facilities within the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Paramount which unveiled its new brand evolution at the IDEX 2023 exhibition said in a joint statement, Paramount and the AAL Group announced that they will collaborate to service and upgrade fleets of helicopters across Africa, as well as the production of interchangeable composite rotary wing blades to meet the increasing demand from partner countries across the continent.
AAL Group Ltd (AAL) is an international aviation organization that offers full-spectrum solutions for Mi-type helicopter platforms to satisfy our Customers’ requirements around the world. The Company has over 23 years of experience providing “Dedicated, Reliable, Proven” services including repairs, overhauls, modifications, maintenance, lease/charter operations, program management, integrated logistics support, and training for flight and maintenance personnel.
Established in 2000, AAL Group Ltd. is a leading international aviation organization headquartered in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), providing a full range of services and support for Mi-type rotary-wing aircraft. The company offers integrated and efficient solutions for its customers around the world to support the operational readiness of its helicopter fleets.
AAL Group Ltd. CEO, Olga Martyshchenko, stated that “We strive to be the leader in the rotary-wing industry, placing our global customers’ needs at the core of our business. In realising our vision, we recognise that there is always more that can be done and that the demands of our customers are evolutionary. In Paramount, we have found a partner committed to EMEA defence industrialisation, with an acute understanding of the asymmetrical challenges faced by governments across Africa. We look forward to continued and shared growth on the heels of this landmark announcement”.
The companies’ production resources will be situated within a newly established facility located on a plot of land directly connected to the airside.
Paramount has established an extensive composite blade design and development capability for Mi-type helicopters. The composite blades offer a clear advantage over metal blades.
Paramount Global CEO, Steve Griessel, stated: “Paramount’s composite main rotor blade development started in 2006, in response to a customer requirement. The composite blades were designed to provide the same functionality and performance capability, including shape, size and weight as the metal blades, enabling installation without any recertification of the helicopter platform elements, limiting certification only to the composite blades. This substantially reduces the development and qualification process and does not affect any other major or structural parts.”
The composite blades have a significantly increased operational life, at least five to eight times more than the metal blades but also allow individual blades to be replaced in the event of damage rather than the whole set. A damaged blade or a set can be easily repaired at the location and returned to service in a short period of time. Although the production of composite blades is more expensive than metal blades, the operational life makes the overall cost of operation substantially cheaper.
With the current challenges in supplies and deliveries of the main rotor blades, Customers are unable to maintain their fleets and continue providing the necessary security and defence support to ensure their sovereignty. Composite blade production can be ramped up to provide a source for continued operations and offer customers longer usage life while reducing dependence on the challenging supply network.
Griessel added: “We are privileged to increase our footprint in the United Arab Emirates in partnership with AAL, and view this announcement as a major step in expanding the versatility and application of our pioneering portable production model. In tandem with organisations such as AAL, we look to create a truly global network of portable production factories and in doing so, embolden the economic trajectories of our partners in Africa, in the Middle East and around the world”.
The milestone partnership announcement was made on the backdrop of the biennial International Defence Exhibition & Conference (IDEX) 2023 in Abu Dhabi, UAE, renowned as one of the most important tri-service defence exhibitions in the world, host to 130,000 visitors, and 1,350 exhibitors from over 65 countries.
At IDEX 2023, Paramount and India-based Engineering & Technology conglomerate, Bharat Forge Ltd also announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the development and production of composite rotor blades, mission systems and stores management systems for medium lift helicopters.
The MoU was signed by CEO –Aerospace, Bharat Forge, Guru Biswal, and SVP, Paramount Group, Clifford Dewell in the presence of senior officials from both companies at the ongoing Aero India 2023 here.
Paramount Group has already developed composite main rotor and tail rotor blades, as fully compatible replacements for the original metallic blades for a wide range of helicopter types including Mi-17s, and Mi-24s.