Russian Defense Ministry gets two helicopters designed for the Arctic
© RIA Novosti. Mark Agnor

Russian Defense Ministry gets two helicopters designed for the Arctic

The company Russia Helicopters has delivered two Mi-8AMTSh-VA helicopters, that were modified for Arctic use, to the Russian Defense Ministry, TASS news agency reported, citing the company's press service. A ceremony was held to mark the delivery at the company's Ulan-Ude plant.

"The technology used in this Arctic helicopter will be beneficial not just for the Defense Ministry, but also for civilian use. A number of solutions that were developed for the Artic helicopter are finding their way into civilian aircraft," Russian Helicopters CEO Andrei Boginsky said at the ceremony.

Compared to the basic version of the MI-8 helicopter, the Arctic model has better thermal isolation, and is equipped with cutting-edge navigation and radio equipment (including an inertial navigation system that does not rely on a satellite signal), and engine and transmission heating systems for starting helicopter engines in temperatures below —40C.

Four additional fuel tanks were installed on this model to ensure extended flying range. During a test flight with these added tanks, the helicopter covered a distance of more than 1,400 kilometers without refueling.

The Defense Ministry signed a contract for the helicopters in February 2016. Other Russian defense and security agencies have also shown interest in this model.