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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Argentina Shows Renewed Interest in Russian Helicopters

Agustín Rossi, Defense Minister of the Republic of Argentina, has announced the country's interest in buying more airframes from Russian Helicopters. Rossi recalled that, in 2011, Argentina purchased two Mi-171E helicopters to supply polar stations in Antarctica, and to perform search and rescue operations.

“Currently, we are studying the possibility of purchasing more,” the minister said, explaining that the number of helicopters purchased will depend on the terms of financing, reported the Information Telegraph Agency of Russia (ITAR-TASS).


An Mi-171E, photo courtesy of Russian Helicopters

The Mi-171E, from the production holding, Russian Helicopters, was created taking in mind the natural topographic features of the region, and has a number of advantages while operating over flat to rolling terrain in the mountains and at temperatures from +50 to -50 degrees Celsius. The helicopter is also able to operate in adverse weather conditions when navigating difficult terrain.

When selecting the Mi-171E, order representatives factored in the wide range of uses for the helicopter: it can carry up to 26 people in the passenger seat or up to 12 victims on stretchers accompanied by medical personnel. The cargo version of the helicopter transports up to 4 tons of cargo inside the cabin or on external suspension. The Mi-171E is also equipped with a Safir 5K/G Mi auxiliary power unit and VC-2500-03 engines, permitting operations at high altitudes in rarefied air. For helicopters of this type, additional equipment is also available, which expands the scope of operations and tasks.

Argentina also intends to continue cooperation with Russia in securing its Antarctic campaign, according to Rossi. He recalled that, for the seventh time, the government of Argentina is chartering the Russian diesel-electric ship “Vasily Golovnin” to deliver fuel, equipment, food and explorers to Argentina's Antarctic stations. Currently, the diesel-electric ship is completing its loading at the port of Buenos Aires and is expected to depart for Antarctica on Sunday.

“We are very pleased with the work of the Russian vessel and its crew, which is not for the first time involved in our Antarctic campaign,” Rossi said.

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