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New Mi-8AMTSh helicopters delivered to Russian Defence Ministry

The Mi-8AMTSh helicopter. A Russian Helicopters photo

MOSCOW (BNS): Russian Helicopters has handed over the first batch of four new Mi-8AMTSh 'Terminator' assault/transport helicopters to Russia's Defence Ministry this month.

The new helicopters, built at the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant (UUAP), a Russian Helicopters company as part of the state defence order, have successfully completed the flight to their new duty stations, the company announced on Sept. 1.

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 choppers 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 are also equipped with new TA-14 auxiliary power plants for improved thrust and power output, as well as modern weapons systems and navigational equipment that enable the aircraft to 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.

According to Ria Novosti, the Mi-8AMTSh is a combat transport version of the Mi-17 helicopter, with more powerful turboshafts and portside tail rotor. Its weapon systems include Igla-V AAM or Shturm-V ASM missiles, B8V20 rocket pods and a GSh-23 gun.

The helicopter is designed to engage small armoured surface, fixed and moving targets while also carrying cargo and troops as well as for SAR missions.

The Russian Defence Ministry has ordered a total of 40 such choppers under a deal worth 12.6 billion rubles (about $380 million) awarded in August 2013.

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