TIANJIN, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- China's Changhe Aircraft Industrial Group (CAIG) and U.S.-based Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation signed an agreement on Thursday to co-produce S-76D commercial utility helicopters.
CAIG, a subsidiary of Aviation Industry Corporation of China, a state-owned aerospace and defense company, will supply S-76D parts and assemble the helicopters, according to the agreement signed at the ongoing China Helicopter Exposition in the northern port city of Tianjin.
CAIG is expected to deliver the first S-76D helicopter in 2016 and have an annual production capacity of 24 helicopters by 2018, according to the agreement.
The 12-seat S-76D, which has a maximum take-off weight of 5.3 tons, is used for business, medical and rescue purposes.
CAIG began operations with Sikorsky in 1995 to co-produce the S-92 helicopter.
Sikorsky is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of military and commercial helicopters.