Russia, China to ink contract on jointly developing heavy lift helicopter
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Russia, China to ink contract on jointly developing heavy lift helicopter

According to Russian media, the two sides have been in talks for years to prepare a contract on the creation of an updated version of the Mi-26 Russian-made helicopter. The new helicopter will “be even better than the Mi-26 helicopter,” said Valentin Padalka, an honored military pilot of the Russia Federation. He said the aircraft will is equipped with an integrated airborne radio subsystem that simplifies operation and automates flight missions. “With the joint efforts from Chinese and Russian designers, the world's greatest helicopter will be produced,” he added. “China boasts advanced technology while we have rich experience in producing helicopters. Combining the two advantages, we will certainly make a perfect aircraft," Padalka said. The first of the 40-tonne jointly developed helicopter will be delivered by 2030. Trade turnover between Moscow and Beijing topped an all-time high earlier this year, surpassing $107 billion in January, just one month after it hit the previous record of $100 billion. This has concerned the US, with American intelligence officials saying earlier this year that closer cooperation between China and Russia poses increased threats to the national security of the United States. US President Donald Trump said on Thursday the amount of money that the US, China and Russia spend on weapons production could be better spent elsewhere. “As you know China is spending a lot of money on military, so are we, so is Russia and those three countries I think can come together and stop the spending and spend on things that maybe are more productive toward long-term peace,” Trump said during a meeting with Chinese vice premier Liu He in Washington. In response, the Chinese vice premier said he thought it would be a good idea. Moscow also reacted to the suggestion, saying that the idea deserved attention and further discussion. Trump, however, announced last year that Washington would withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) signed toward the end of the Cold War in 1987. The treaty — seen as a milestone in ending the Cold War arms race between the two superpowers — banned ground-launch nuclear missiles with ranges from 500 kilometers to 5,500 kilometers and led to the elimination of nearly 2,700 short- and medium-range missiles. Russia has previously warned that the collapse of the agreement would spark an arms race. President Vladimir Putin has said Moscow will not deploy any new missiles unless Washington does so, because Russia does not want to enter a new arms race with the US.

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