Extreme cold? It’s all grist to the new Mil
The Russian Defence Ministry has taken delivery of the first Mil MI-8AMTSH-VA configured for Arctic service. It was developed specifically for operation in the country’s north in temperatures lower than -40°C, in darkness, where navigation is difficult, satellite and radio reception are unreliable, and helicopters must fly over large expanses of water, and operate a long way from base.
To handle these conditions the MI-8AMTSH-VA is equipped with cabin, cargo, engine and gearbox heating, improved insulation, and Teflon hoses for hydraulic, oil and fuel systems. For navigation it has dual satcoms, digital avionics with built-in map generation, and strapdown inertial reference systems enabling it to establish coordinates in the event that satellite signal is lost. Its weather radar scans in horizontal and vertical profiles. Night vision equipment for the crew is also standard, along with facilities to prepare hot food and drink during extended missions away from base.
“This helicopter is crucial to the development of transport infrastructure in Russia’s northern regions, and also to companies in the oil and gas sector to support offshore work,” says Russian Helicopters Chief Executive Officer Alexander Mikheev.