27-Mar-2014 Source: Russian Helicopters
Russian Helicopters, a subsidiary of Oboronprom, part of State Corporation Rostec, has seen sustainable growth in demand from Latin America, which is home to one of the largest fleets of Russian-built helicopters in the world – and one that is continuing to expand.
“The fleet of Russian-built helicopters in Latin America has grown by 6% over the last three years, from 385 machines in 2011 to 409 at the start of 2014,” Russian Helicopters CEOAlexander Mikheev said. “Our products are recognised around the world for their reliability and efficiency, and this helps us not only to maintain our traditionally strong position in Latin America but also to grow our presence in this fast-growing market.”
Latin American countries have a long history of acquiring Russian helicopters and rich experience of operating both commercial and military models of various classes and designations. Highest demand has been for medium and heavy helicopters, segments in which Russian Helicopters is traditionally strong and produces highly economical machines.
Russian Helicopters’ most popular model in the region is the Mi-8/17 series, with more than 300 helicopters delivered to date. The military Mi-17V-5 and Mi-171Sh operate in the region alongside commercial models including one of the latest versions, the Mi-171A1.
Also well known to helicopter operators in the region is the coaxial Ka-32A11BC, which has been successfully deployed on fire-fighting missions, construction work and transportation of cargo on an external sling. Ka-32 series helicopters operate in Peru, Colombia, Brazil and Chile.
The Mi-8/17 and Mi-24/35 series are the most in-demand military helicopters in South America, operating for example in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua and Peru. Mi-8/17 military transport helicopters are renowned for their high degree of flexibility, resilience, durability and ease of maintenance.
Latin American militaries also operate another unique helicopter produced by Russian Helicopters. The super-heavy Mi-26 is used by the air forces of Peru and Mexico to carry airborne troops and cargo including bulky equipment. The Mi-26 can accommodate up to 82 airborne troops with full equipment or up to 20 tonnes of cargo inside the cabin or on an external sling.
Russian Helicopters is showcasing its products at the International Air and Space Fair (FIDAE 2014) on 25-30 March in the Chilean capital, Santiago. During the exhibition regional operators have the opportunity to discover the latest Russian-built models including the Ka-62, Mi-171A2 and Mi-38.