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HeliTorque :: View topic - Brazilian Mi-35s take on the drug runners
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Brazilian Mi-35s take on the drug runners
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 9:17 am    Post subject: Brazilian Mi-35s take on the drug runners Reply with quote

LAAD 2011: Brazilian Mi-35s take on the drug runners
April 15, 2011

The Brazilian Air Force's (FAB's) Mi-35M attack helicopters are proving themselves on anti-narcotic operations and the service is still hopeful additional numbers of the type will be procured.

At the LAAD 2011 exhibition in Rio de Janeiro from 12 to 15 April, the air force displayed one of the six Mi-35Ms currently in service, which support counter-narcotics operations across the Amazon region.

Service representatives said while there were some limitations to the aircraft’s performance due to the heat and humidity of the region, the Mi-35M had had a successful introduction into service and was operating at around 70% availability.

‘It is a very good helicopter for the type of missions we operate. In cooperation with other aircraft, we intercept all aircraft in the region, whether they are carrying drugs or not, and the Mi-35 is ideal for this,’ Capt Danilo said.

He said the air force was also looking at integrating its operations more closely with the army, in line with the NATO model, and was considering how the Mi-35 could support ground troops.

The FAB is procuring 12 of the aircraft with the next batch of three currently painted in Brazilian colours and awaiting delivery at the Rostvertol facility. The final three Mi-35Ms, which are known as the AH-2 Sabre in Brazilian service, will then be delivered by the end of 2011 or beginning of 2012.

While the Russian Helicopters representatives at the exhibition would not be drawn on any ongoing negotiations for any follow-on order of Mi-35s for the FAB, service members said they were hopeful an additional 12 aircraft would be procured in the 2014 timeframe.

Meanwhile, Russian Helicopters signed a number of cooperation agreements with Brazilian helicopter operators during LAAD 2011, in a significant expansion of the helicopter group’s presence in the country.

On 15 April, the group announced it signed an agreement with Brazilian investment group Qualy Group Brasil for the joint promotion of the Mi-34C1 light helicopter.

With an eye on the FIFA World Cup 2014 and the Olympic Games 2016 in Brazil, the agreement provides for the possible delivery of 150 Mi-34C1 helicopters before 2023. A maintenance, logistics, and training centre will also be created for the aircraft.

Other agreements during the show will provide for support centres in Brazil for the Mi-171A1 and Ka-32A11BC helicopters.

Tony Skinner, Rio de Janeiro
R22 2.6 h/r  wanting more, a hell of a lot more
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