The second batch of Russian Mi-8MTV-5 helicopters has been delivered to the airbase in Machulishchi, Minsk Oblast, BelTA has learned.
The second batch of six helicopters completes the contract on buying 12 helicopters for the Belarusian Defense Ministry. The first batch was delivered by the Russian holding company Russian Helicopters in autumn 2016. The second batch was initially supposed to be delivered in May 2017, however, the Kazan helicopter factory was ready to send the helicopters on their way in April.
The helicopters will be used by the Machulishchi airbase. The airbase commander Andrei Lukyanovich said that the pilots and technicians had been retrained in advance in order to operate this type of helicopters. “Specialists of the Kazan helicopter factory did the training. The airbase pilots demonstrate excellent combat skills and potential,” remarked Andrei Lukyanovich.
Belarusian Air Force Chief, Deputy Commander of the Air Force and Air Defense Command Alexander Karev took part in the helicopter welcome ceremony at the Machulishchi airfield. He stressed that the helicopters acquired as part of the efforts to build up Belarus-Russia military technology cooperation will allow the Belarusian army and its air force command to improve combat potential, reliability, and flight safety. “Unique equipment allows the helicopters to perform flights at any time of the day, at small altitudes, in complicated weather conditions. They can land troops with and without parachutes. Their defense systems have improved their survival rate by several times,” stressed Alexander Karev.
Alexander Ryzhkovsky, Senior Inspector-Pilot of the Aviation Department of the Air Force and Air Defense Command, told those present that the helicopters had been relocated to the Machulishchi airfield without any problems. Not even minor malfunctions had been registered. “The helicopters had to fly in complicated weather conditions. The cutting-edge equipment made the flights safe. Despite the outward similarity to the regular Mi-8 helicopter these are next-generation helicopters,” said the pilot.
The Mi-8MTV-5 helicopter boasts unique combat capabilities. The helicopter is fitted with modern piloting and navigation solutions, radio communication and targeting systems. Thanks to the powerful searchlight with an infrared filter and night vision goggles the helicopter can carry out missions at night and in poor visibility conditions. Apart from that, it is better protected against portable air defense missile systems.
The helicopter can also provide high mobility to troops and troop mobility is one of the main deterrent factors these days. The Mi-8MTV-5 helicopter can carry up to 36 paratroopers.
The holding company Russian Helicopters is part of the state corporation Rostec. Russian Helicopters is Russia's only developer and manufacturer of helicopters. Headquartered in Moscow, the company operates five helicopter factories, two engineering offices, enterprises to make and service components, enterprises to offer aircraft repair and maintenance services. A company is dedicated to providing aftersales services in Russia and abroad. Customers of the holding company Russian Helicopters include the Russian Defense Ministry, the Interior Ministry, the Emergencies Ministry, other government agencies, the air carriers Gazprom Avia and UTair, major Russian and foreign companies.