Russian Helicopters is stepping up efforts to strengthen its base of international partners. The move is in part driven by the fact that it can no longer count on Ukrainian engine suppliers Motor-Sich and Ivchenko-Progress in the wake of ongoing political tensions.
Efforts by Iraq’s embattled Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki to urgently acquire combat aircraft to assist with the battle against Isis rebels have already born fruit in the form of Sukhoi Su-25 “Frogfoot” attack aircraft from Russia and Iran.
Frustrated by the slow process of acquiring American air power hardware, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has turned elsewhere. He told the BBC’s Arabic Service that Iraq has “bought second-hand fighters from Russia and Belarus that will arrive in a few days’ time.” Maliki’s government is trying to counter a rapid advance by The Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (Isis), whose fighters have overrun most of five Iraqi provinces.
After years of neglect, the Indonesian Army Aviation (TNI-AD) is now set for some radical modernization in a bid to stem the country’s increasing threats. A deal for eight AH-64E Guardian helicopters worth around $500 million was announced in August 2013, but it is not clear if a contract has been signed. The original DSCA (Defense Security Cooperation Agency) notification quoted a figure of $1.42 billion to cover all the associated weapons (including 32 Hellfire missile launchers and 140 Hellfire AGM-114R3 missiles), support and other associated equipment. According to the U.S.
In an end-of-year statement, Russian Helicopters confirmed that the Mil Mi-28N Night Hunter attack helicopter has finally been accepted into service. The company also listed deliveries for 2013.
Last week Iraq took delivery of the first batch of Mil helicopters from the Rostvertol factory. Four Mi-35Ms were delivered to Iraq, their arrival being announced by Iraqi prime minister Nouri Al-Maliki. Iraqi managers, crews and technicians have been training at the Russian army’s Torzhok center, with the first group completing its course in late September. Following the delivery of the initial batch will be at least two more Mi-35Ms, and a sizeable batch of Mil Mi-28NE Night Hunter attack helicopters.
Military cooperation between Russia and Middle East will certainly be boosted with the recent appointment of Alexander Mikheyev, formerly deputy general manager at arms vendor Rosoboronexport, as the general manager at the Russian Helicopters holding company (Chalet C9). The decision was made on September 24, and is understood to be a move aimed at boosting sales of Russian military helicopters in the global market.
A Russian-owned Mi-8 helicopter being flown on July 31 in support of the United Nations World Food Program crashed in Ethiopia while en route to South Sudan. The helicopter was carrying four people–two pilots and two passengers–at the time of the accident. The extent of injuries to those aboard was not reported.
Training is just getting under way of the first military fixed-wing pilots to be taught to fly in Afghanistan since the early 1990s. The initiation of the first course follows the delivery of three Cessna 182T basic trainers in September, and three Cessna 208B Caravans for advanced instruction on October 22.
Rostvertol is at the show promoting its Mi-26T2, an upgraded version of its popular heavy-lift helicopter, in the hope of securing sales to India and other potential customers. The company is appearing at the Paris Air Show for the first time since becoming part of the Russian Helicopters (Chalet B37).
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