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Old 08-22-2007   #9
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,097

CSRC, 22 Aug 07: North Caucasus: Problems of Helicopter Support in Mountains
Key Points

* The Mi-8 helicopter accident on 27 April 2007 in south Chechnya emphasised the appalling state of Russian military helicopter aviation.

* By 1999 the average age of Mi-8 helicopters was 15-20 years old and that of Mi-24 helicopters was 20 years or older. On average 70% of the helicopter park required repair with one third needing major components.

* Since then, 13 years of conflict have passed without replacement helicopters and new modern designs, even before the first conflict (1994-1996) almost 100% of the attack Mi-24 helicopters were worn out. Transport helicopters have been worked to the limit.

* At least 10 of the 18 helicopter crashes in Chechnya in the last five years can be attributed to pilot error or equipment malfunction; 205 servicemen died.

* MOD chose to buy Mi-28 (Night Hunter) on grounds of cost in preference to Ka-50 (Black Shark) and Ka-52 (Alligator) regarded by military experts as better aircraft. All three will now be bought in small numbers until 2015.
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