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Russian Helicopters Strikes Deal With Brazilian Firm

Russia will sell up to 14 helicopters to a Brazilian company for use in offshore oil drilling projects under a deal signed on Friday in the presence of the presidents of the two oil-producing emerging market nations.

Russia, once a major civil aircraft maker, is keen to regain its presence in the market, more than 20 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union crippled its industry and technological development.

Atlas Taxi Aereo expects the first of the Kamov-62 helicopters to be supplied in 2015 under a deal with state-controlled Russian Helicopters worth $200 million, the Brazilian company's director, Waldomiro Silva, told Reuters.

"We are the first company in the world to get this new helicopter," Silva said.

Russian Helicopters, which said in September it was planning an initial public share offering next Spring, would be competing with other helicopter makers such as Northrop Grumman, Finmeccanica, Boeing, Textron's Bell Helicopter unit and EADS.

In Brazil the aircraft will be used to transport staff of state-controlled oil company Petrobras to offshore drilling platforms, Russian Helicopters CEO Dmitry Petrov told reporters. He said Atlas Taxi Aereo would buy seven helicopters with an option to buy seven more.

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