AIRFIELD YELIZOVO (Kamchatka territory), September 21. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Air Force helicopter gunships have made a record longest crossing in the history of army aviation at large-scale military exercises codenamed Vostok-2014, the spokesman of the press service and information department of Defence Ministry told reporters on Sunday.
“Sixteen new helicopter gunships Mil Mi-8AMTSh have made a crossing over the sea from the Kuril island of Iturup to airfield Yelizovo. The machines have spent more than six hours in the air, flying more than 1,300 kilometres over the sea,” the officer said. In his words, such an unprecedented crossing became possible thanks to several more fuel tanks installed on helicopters, allowing for such a long non-stop flight.”
These helicopter gunships based in the Eastern Military District have made a crossing especially for drills Vostok-2014, senior inspector-pilot of the flight safety service of the aviation directorate of the 3rd Command of Air Force and Air Defence Forces Colonel Sergei Dyagilev said. He noted that pilots from the Eastern Military District would ‘test’ these helicopters and if this new model is successful, helicopters Mi-8AMTSh can be equipped with additional fuel tanks which can be removed and installed again if necessary in the future.