The Russian air force has resumed taking delivery of Mi-8MTKO transport helicopters upgraded by the MVZ Mil design bureau and NPK Irkut's Russian Avionics, says Gen Vladimir Mikhailov, the service's commander.

The air force received its first improved aircraft, with enhanced combat and night operating capabilities and improved flight safety, during the second Chechen campaign, and also employed the aircraft under combat conditions in the northern Caucasus. A total of 40 Mi-8MTKOs were on order, but deliveries were suspended after the active phase of the Chechen campaign came to a close. Mikhailov did not detail how many aircraft have recently been delivered to the air force.

The Mi-8MTKO features a Russian Avionics-integrated avionics suite which includes a UOMZ-supplied GOES-XXX gyro-stabilised platform with forward-looking infrared and laser rangefinder; multifunction cockpit displays; and a real-time targeting/tactical information datalink with the upgraded Sukhoi Su-27UBM multirole fighter.

Russia's air force is also negotiating a deal with Kazan Helicopters for the delivery of several new-build Mi-8MTV-5 helicopters this year.

Source: Flight International