EUROCOPTER Deutschland has handed over two BO.105 CBS helicopters to the Russian civil-defence and emergencies ministry.

The helicopters have been fitted with rescue hoists, searchlights and auxiliary fuel tanks. The aircraft will be used for medical-evacuation and search-and-rescue duties by the ministry, which is responsible for lifesaving in the wake of natural disasters.

The helicopters were collected by the ministry's Ilyushin Il-76 transport, which flew them from the military air base at Manching, southern Germany, to Moscow.

The Il-76 is used by the ministry to deploy rescue units to the disaster areas. The ministry has previously had to charter helicopters, and often these have been Mil Mi-8s, which are too big to be carried by the Ilyushin.

The $4.8 million contract is the first direct German helicopter sale to Russia.

Source: Flight International