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HeliTorque :: View topic - Croatia To Buy New Mil Helos
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HeliTorque Forum Index » Attack, Recon & Special Ops

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Croatia To Buy New Mil Helos
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TripleDelta
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2005 8:46 pm    Post subject: Croatia To Buy New Mil Helos Reply with quote

According to the news, Croatia will acquire 12 new Mil Mi-17 helicopters direct from the Kazan or Ulan-Ude factories in Russia, covering part of Russia's "clearance debt" to Croatia (don't know how to translate that). These helicopters will reinforce the already very stretched Mi-8MTV-1s and older Mi-17s operating in the transport, SAR and firefighting roles. Several accidents, compunded by a spare parts shortage, threaten to reduce the number of operational helicopters to half a dozen.

The new helicopters are rumoured to be either the Mi-17-1V, the basic version that can be outfitted for a variety of roles and retains combat capability, or the Mi-17-V5 dedicated transport version, which can be equipped with an external sling and bambi bucket for firefighting ops (several operating Mi-8s and 17s of the Croatian Airforce have already been converted to a similar configuration).

This is a nice development of events. The Mi-8 line, past and present, are excellent, durable and highly capable helicopters that can take A LOT of beating - and the transition of pilots from older marks to the new ones will be smooth and painless. Can't wait to see them and take a glance at the updated cockpit... And with the new nose and rear ramp they actually look good... Very Happy

Kazan Helicopter Plant Mi-17
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to go offtopic, but,

How is the EMS helicopter story unfolding? Those EC-s of yours (145 if i remember correctly), are they flying? In Slovenia, we expect the EMS company to enter operational service in april or may.
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TripleDelta
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Phoinix wrote:
Sorry to go offtopic, but,
How is the EMS helicopter story unfolding? Those EC-s of yours (145 if i remember correctly), are they flying? In Slovenia, we expect the EMS company to enter operational service in april or may.


The EMS contract was cancelled at an early stage in favour of the Mi-17s, some of which would be adapted for the EMS role. However, apart from the initial press release, there were no new news about them, but I believe our customary slow negotiations are well underway Very Happy.

As for the HIKO company, which owns the EC-145 (9A-HKA) and a BK-117C-1 (9A-HKB), it is actively flying as the first private helicopter company in Croatia, and as far as I've seen, is engaged in a number of activities. The EC-145, which was in full EMS config, is sometmes used by the Mountain Rescue Service alongside the airforce Mi-8s and police B.212, while the BK.117C-1 is used for diverse roles, as needed. Recently, it was engaged in an airlift role on some construction work.

9A-HKA: http://www.airliners.net/open.file/900677/L/
9A-HKB: http://www.airliners.net/open.file/881648/L/

What type will Slovenia be using? I presume also something of the Eurocopter or Agusta variety (btw. that Police A.109E of yours looks awesome in blue Very Happy)
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So the whole EM service is operated by the army? I can't really imagine that whole lot-a helo doing EMS. How many 17's are doing the job? Are there more bases around the country?

Our EMS will probalby start out with one EC135, and than if it all goes well, some more. Starting out on one base - Brnik.

Our Agusta looks great, i know Very Happy Can't wait to get my hands on that one.

http://www.planepictures.net/netshow.php?id=259823
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Currently, the EMS service is operated by the GSS (Mountain Rescue Service), which is an independent, volonteer service. Since their air arm lacks helicopters of their own, they are allowed usage of the military's Mi-8s and police B.212, plus the HIKO EC-145 (I think there's even an agreement that, if possible, at least one gov / mil helo has to be available for EMS missions). I'm not sure about the bases themselves, but Divulje AB near Split is a permanent airforce base, so some helis operate from there.

However, what will happen next is still unknown. There are rumors that the military will take over the complete EMS and helicopter firefighting missions, with several designated Mi-17s, but that's still a rumor. This may happen, since it'll allow a better, centralised usage of (more) helicopters, plus it'd give the airforce something to do actively other than flying this or that there or somewhere else. Most pilots don't have the opportunity to fly frequently, so this could be a win-win solution.

As for the number of Mi-17s, I don't recally correctly, but the figure of 10-12 keeps coming back.

Brnik is a good base, on account of it's central position, making everything easy to reach. Our problem is the weird shape of Croatia, which, for effective coverage, would need at least 3-4 bases... but so far Divulje (Mi-8 ) and Lucko (EC-145, B.212) are doing okay...
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Phoinix wrote:
How many 17's are doing the job? Are there more bases around the country?


2 hours later... Very Happy

I think 3-4 will be outfitted for the EMS role.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The thing that still bothers me is, how come your EMS uses such a big helicopter. At least in my mind, the whole thing should be small enough to get it in a confined area and big enough to carry a medic team... Mi-17 is big enough to carry a small field hospital Shocked And most of all the running costs are not cheap.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I think the whole idea behind the deal is, is to provide a flexible fleet at the lowest expense. Apart from EMS, the -17s could be used for firefighting, troop transport, as a parajumper platfom and in many other roles, depending on requirements.

In our case, the -17's capacity, power and overall versatillity make it a good and cheap all-round heli (fleet uniformity and crew/mission interchangeability), at the expense of excellent, as opposed to just good, performance in any specific role.

What it boils down to is that somebody in the airforce has actually made some positive progress in something Very Happy Very Happy
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Phoinix wrote:
Mi-17 is big enough to carry a small field hospital Shocked


You can say that again Very Happy :

http://www.airliners.net/open.file/207226/L/

EDIT: despite some setbacks of the Mi-17 as opposed to a smaller machine, personally I think the air force is playing it right. The operating costs will be spread over a lenghty time period, so they are not an immediate concern. What is immediate in the short term is the need to reinforce the helis already in service, where the Mi-17 deal has several notable advantages:

- newly-built, prooven, highly-capable helicopters
- high degree of commonallity with existing helicopters
- functionallity and versatillity (in part due to their size)
- no need for extensive crew training
- their expense, as that of their introduction into service, is, in view of the "clearance debt", virtually nil, as opposed to a new type
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hehe, good photo Very Happy Both are legends.

Thanks for that explanation, that sounds ok. Hope it works out for the Mils. You always write about 17's. Are there any 8's left in the fleet?

In Slovenia, military and police are not fighting against the current of some private company taking over EMS and mountain rescue. It will probably take some years for them to get the experience for mountain rescue, but eventually thing will be geting private (under contract with goverment) over here.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Currently, the AF operates mostly Mi-8MTV-1s - however, I do not know their exact number, since some older ones may have been stripped for spares. A few months ago, I saw 6 in flight together, and between two and four are based at LDZL, so I presume there are about 8-10 operational nation-wide.

Along with them, there are a few old Mi-8Ts (the basic transport version) and a single Mi-8P (passenger version) and Mi-8S (VIP transport). However, I haven't seen or heard of them for quite some time, so I don't know whether they're still operational.

There's also an early version of the Mi-17, the Mi-17-1VA, which is basically an export Mi-8MTV-1 - at a glance, they're identical in external appearance, as opposed to new -17s which have a solid nose and flat rear ramp, versus the glass nose and clamshell ramp the -8s have.

How will our EMS adapt to possible military "control" is still under question. The GSS will probably be integrated into the military as a special air arm, but with readily available, designated helis.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just wanted to add an update here, as not to needlessly open another topic:

The first of 12 Mi-171Sh (armed version) helicopters should be arriving by the end of this year. Despite all the update options, our examples will be the stock, basic-equipment versions, which'll retain the glass nose and analogue cockpit...
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