Russian Helicopters has signed its first export order for the Kamov-designed Ka-62, now in development and the company’s entry into a medium helicopter market buoyed by demand from the oil and gas sector.

Brazil’s Atlas Taxi Aereo has ordered seven Ka-62s for delivery between the first quarter of 2015 and first quarter of 2016. The contract includes an option for another seven helicopters.

With a gross weight of 8,500 kg, the 12- to 15-passenger Ka-62 is powered by two 1,750-shp Turbomeca Ardiden 3G turboshafts. The helicopter has a five-blade composite main rotor and fan-in-fin tailrotor.

Russian Helicopters plans to begin flight testing in 2013 and is targeting certification for international use in 2015. Under the contract with Atlas, a service center for the Ka-62 will be established in Brazil.

Atlas took delivery of Mi-171As from Russian Helicopters last year after the Brazilian company won a tender to support national oil company Petrobras.

The Ka-62 will compete against AgustaWestland’s popular 6,800-kg AW139, as well as Eurocopter’s new 7,500-kt EC175 – deliveries of which have slipped to September 2013. AgustaWestland is also developing the 4,500-kg AW169 and 8,000-kg AW189.

Sikorsky’s upgraded, 5,300-kg S-76D is another new medium-market entrant, with delayed deliveries to begin early next year. And, Bell Helicopter plans to begin deliveries of its all-new, 8,000-kg 525 Relentless in 2015.