Russian Helicopters has delivered the first batch of four upgraded Mi-8AMTSh transport helicopters to the Russian Defence Ministry.
A long-term state contract for upgraded Mi-8AMTSh helicopters was signed in Ulan-Ude in August 2013. The improvements to the aircraft - the first of their type in serial production - have been designed to reduce maintenance requirements over the life-cycle of the helicopter.
"The new helicopters will help strengthen our national defence capabilities," said Russian Helicopters CEO Alexander Mikheev. "Today the Russian Army can call on the latest technologies and equipment. The Defence Ministry is a key customers for Russian Helicopters, and we are committed to producing reliable and failsafe helicopters as one of its priorities under the state defence order."
"Improving the capabilities of our helicopters is a core priority for us," said UUAP Managing Director Leonid Belykh. "In conjunction with Moscow Mil Helicopter Plant, which designs Mi-8/17 helicopters, we are able to offer the Russian Defence Ministry the latest helicopters which combine their unique operating experience with the latest technologies."
The Mi-8AMTSh helicopters delivered to the Defence Ministry are fitted with enhanced VK-2500 engines and an upgraded and strengthened transmission to provide independent control of hours logged in service and improve the aircraft's operational efficiency in mountainous terrain and hot climates. They also come with new TA-14 auxiliary power plants that generate improved thrust and power output, as well as modern weapons systems. Increased lightweight metal cladding protects the crew and essential support systems, while batteries with enhanced capacities mean electrical systems can function autonomously for longer periods.
Thanks to the latest navigational equipment, the helicopter can fly a full range of military missions, including at night with the use of night-vision goggles. The aircraft's potential capabilities can be significantly expanded by additional equipment for SAR missions and troop drops, and medical equipment to evacuate wounded personnel.
The Mi-8AMTSh has been upgraded with a focus on operational efficiency and ease of maintenance. The new helicopter now has a time between overhaul of 2,000 hours (up from 1,500 previously) and a service life of 35 years (up from 25), while operating costs across the life-cycle of the helicopter have been reduced by about 25%-30% compared to the basic model.
The delivery of the first consignment of upgraded Mi-8AMTSh helicopters marks a new page in the long history of collaboration between Russian Helicopters and Russia's Armed Forces.
Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant is a Russian Helicopters company. In the 70 years of its existence, it has produced over 8,000 units. Today the plant specialises in producing the Mi-8AMT (Mi-171 - export variant) multirole helicopter and the Mi-8AMTSh (Mi-171Sh - export variant), and is also involved in developing and preparing for series production on the latest Mi-171A2 medium helicopter.