Russian Helicopters, a subsidiary of Oboronprom, part of Rostec State Corporation, has delivered the first Mi-26T heavy transport helicopter to Kazakhstan Emergencies Ministry – the first time in the history of Kazakh civil aviation that the helicopter will be put into operation.
The Mi-26T is a unique helicopter that can give invaluable support to Kazakhstan’s emergency services. The helicopter was delivered to the Ministry after a general overhaul and modifications at Novosibirsk Aircraft Repair Plant, a Russian Helicopters company. The modified Mi-26T completed a flight fr om Novosibirsk to Astana in October 2013 and was greeted by specialists from Kazaviaspas, the air rescue division of the Kazakhstan Emergencies Ministry.
In total, the Ministry has commissioned Russian Helicopters to overhaul and modify two Mi-26 military helicopters, which had previously been in storage for 20 years.
In March 2012 a group of specialists from Novosibirsk Aircraft Repair Plant and engineers from Kazaviaspas readied the helicopters to be sent for repairs, and in May 2012 they made the more than 2,000-km journey to Novosibirsk in the external sling of a UTair Mi-26T.
“This was the first time we had repaired and modified helicopters that had not been in service for 20 years,” said Yuri Lipatnikov, Managing Director of Novosibirsk Aircraft Repair Plant. “Everything, including the transportation, was an incredible challenge, but Russian Helicopters once again proved that we can provide a high quality service at the most complex level.”
Overhauls were carried out at Novosibirsk Aircraft Repair Plant, wh ere the helicopters were modified into civilian Mi-26Ts. These helicopters carry the latest aviation and air-rescue equipment for use by the Emergencies Ministry and can be used for a wide range of operations including fire fighting and evacuations.
The Mi-26T is the largest serially manufactured civilian helicopter in the world and is often used in complex transportation operations and large-scale rescue work. It can carry equipment and bulky loads of up to 20 tonnes in weight inside its fuselage or on an external sling. The military version can hold 82 fully armed troopers, while the medical Mi-26T has room for 60 stretcher patients. The tanker refueller version of the Mi-26T can carry up to 14 tonnes of fuel and the fire fighting version is equipped with an external VSU-15A water flushing device which can collect 15 tonnes of water from any source, including shallow sources.
The second Mi-26T is expected back in Kazakhstan after its overhaul soon. It will be used to ensure work on the Atyrau Shelf is carried out safely.