But the modified PD-14 engine is not the only option.
"There is the D-136 engine. It is an option worth considering for the heavy helicopter," Masalov noted. Then there is the PD-14, which can be used as a basis for developing a family of engines. "They could be viewed as a replacement for the D-136 and could be fitted on the heavy helicopter," he explained.
The D-136 is one of the most powerful turboshaft engines, produced by Ukrainian company Motor Sich. In mid-May, head of Ukraine's State Export Control said that Motor Sich will not participate in the project.
The next generation PD-14 turbofan engine, designed by Russia's Aviadvigatel engine-building design bureau, is meant to power the Irkut MC-21, a narrow-body twin-engine jet airliner. High reliability and low fuel consumption are named as its main advantages.
The new rotorcraft will be similar in its role to the Mil Mi-26 heavy military and transportation helicopter.
The AHL will be lighter than the Mi-26. It will be capable of carrying a payload of nearly 10 tons (in the bay) and up to 15 tons (on the exterior mounting). The final design of the helicopter is expected to be approved by the end of 2015.
Experts say that China, the fastest growing helicopter market in the world, is expected to buy more than 200 AHL helicopters by 2040.