Russian Helicopters and the Ministry of the Russian Federation for Civil Defence, Emergencies and Disaster Relief have signed an agreement for four Arctic Mi-8AMTSh-VA helicopters. Two will be delivered in 2022 and two more in 2023.
The Mi-8AMTSh-VA was created specifically to be used in the northern regions, including the Arctic. The main features include a heating system for the oil and transmission units, where the helicopter is able to start at temperatures down to -60°C. It is equipped with improved fuselage insulation, heat-insulating curtains and equipment for heating hot rations.
The installation of external fuel tanks helps with long range flights and with these it can fly approximately for an additional seven hours, up to around 1,400km further.
"Helicopters of this variant have already flown in the Arctic for several thousand hours and have proven themselves in the harsh northern conditions. The unique heating system for the transmission units allows the helicopter to quickly start the engines even in the most severe frost, which is extremely important when organising emergency rescue missions," says U-UAZ managing director Alexey Kozlov.
"This agreement is important for the development of the security system in the Arctic zone. Such helicopters are indispensable for fighting wildfires, can carry out sanitary evacuation and deliver rescuers to hard-to-reach areas. They are designed to operate in northern latitudes, which are characterised by low temperatures and high wind loads. The new helicopters will enter service with the emerging Arctic units of the Russian Emergencies Ministry to protect the population and territories of the Arctic region of the Russian Federation and ensure the safety of the Northern Sea route,” adds Viktor Yatsutsenko, deputy minister of Emergencies of Russia.
Serial production of the Mi-8AMTSh-VA helicopter at the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant began in 2015. The first civilian Mi-8AMT helicopter has been created with a similar set of optional equipment for use in the Arctic.