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Foreign customers received over 1,800 Russian-made military helicopters in 1991-2014

February 17, 2016, 15:59 UTC+3

Helicopters of the Mi-8/17 family topped the list of the exported rotorcraft in terms of numbers while the second most-exported type was the attack helicopters of the Mi-24 family

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© ITAR-TASS/Maxim Shemetov

MOSCOW, 16 February. /TASS-DEFENSE/. More than 1,800 Russian-built military rotorcraft were delivered to foreign buyers from 1991 to 2014, a source in Russia’s defense industry told TASS at Singapore Air Show 2016’s opening ceremony.

"In all, 1,805 helicopters had been sold for export from 1991 to 2014," the source said. "They include Mil Mi-24 and Mi-35 (NATO reporting name: Hind) attack helicopters, Mi-8/17 (Hip) troop carriers and Mi-26 (Halo) heavy-lifters."

According to him, helicopters of the Mi-8/17 family topped the list of the exported rotorcraft in terms of numbers. "The aircraft are among the most popular ones in the world. Probably, only the US-made [Sikorsky Aircraft UH-60/S-70] Blackhawk utility helicopter leads them in quantitative terms. Over 1,500 machines were delivered at the time - 1,530 in particular," he noted.

The second most-exported type was the attack helicopters of the Mi-24 family. "At the time specified, the most popular machines were Mi-24P helicopter gunships, though Mi-24Vs carrying a 12.7-mm quad-barrel machinegun were exported too. Overall, foreign customers had taken delivery of 171 Crocodiles [slang name for the Mi-24, harkening back to the Afghan War of 1979-89) from 1991 to 2014," the source said.

The third most-exported type was the Mi-35. "The Mi-35, the successor to the legendary Mi-24, is just as in demand. The solutions embedded in the Mi-24 were maximized in it. In all, foreign customers received 92 rotorcraft of the type at the time," the defense industry source said. According to him, 12 Mi-26 heavy-lift helicopters were sold abroad too. He added that export of more the advanced combat helicopters, particularly the Mi-28NE (Havoc), was under way too.

The source emphasized that the wealth of combat experience gained by the Russian-made helicopters has much facilitated their popularity on the global market. "The early versions of the Mi-8 have been flying since the Vietnam War, having earned a sterling record in all local conflicts virtually in all climatic zones in the past 40 years. The Mi-24 has symbolized a combat helicopter. The Mi-26 is the world’s only helicopter in a class of its own, and the Mi-28NE Night Hunter is sure to be on a par with the US-made AH-64D Apache Longbow," the source summed up.

The article was published on the 'Russia’s Defense Technologies' newswire.

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