Czech company LOM has won a NATO tender worth Kc250 million ($13.4 million) to repair four Mil Mi-17 transport helicopters: two each for Bulgaria and Romania.

The work will relate to the aircraft's avionics, navigation systems and pilot equipment, says Jirí Hluze, the head of LOM's aircraft division.

The company hopes that the success could lead to larger project opportunities, as it claims to be the only one among NATO nations to hold a licence allowing it to conduct overhauls on the Mi-17.

NATO air forces still operate more than 200 helicopters of Russian origin, with these primarily among its former Warsaw Pact member states. However, additional examples are also flown by nations including the USA.

LOM has previously repaired five Russian-built Mi-171S transports. Three of these are now operational in Afghanistan with the Czech army, equipped with machine guns.

Source: Flight International