24-Feb-2011 Source: HeliHub.com
Finland is donating its last two Soviet-built Mi-8s to international crisis management activities, and discussed options with several other countries. The likely recipient is Hungary, which is expected to deploy the helicopters in Afghanistan.
The Finnish donation would be part of the Multinational Helicopter Initiative (MHI), which was set up three years ago by the European Union and NATO. The aim of the initiative is to get more helicopters involved in crisis management operations, and the MHI has helped upgrade older helicopters. Finland has no plans to send its new NH90 transport helicopters to Afghanistan.
The helicopters that are to be sentÂ to Afghanistan were originally acquired for use by the Finnish Border Guard in 1981.Â The Border Guard replaced them in 1988 with the new Super Pumas.