MOSCOW, November 25 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Eastern Military District will receive more than 40 combat helicopters by the end of 2013, a spokesman said Monday.
“Over 40 new Mi-8AMTSh and Ka-52 helicopters will be delivered to air bases in the Eastern Military District by the end of this year,” Lt. Col. Alexander Gordeev said.
The new helicopters are expected to replace the existing fleet of aging Mi-24 Hind attack helicopters and significantly boost combat capabilities of army aviation in Russia’s Far East, according to the Defense Ministry.
The Eastern Military District is one of the four operational strategic commands of the Russian Armed Forces.
It was formed in 2010 and absorbed the territories of the former Far East Military District and part of the former Siberian Military District and has its headquarters at Khabarovsk.
The Mi-8AMTSh ‘Terminator’ is an upgraded, armored version of the famed Mi-8 combat transport helicopter. It can be armed with a mix of Igla (Grouse) air-to-air missiles, Shturm-V (Spiral) air-to-surface missiles, 23-mm gun pods, and rocket pods equipped with 80-mm unguided rockets.
The Ka-52 Alligator is an all-weather twin-seat variant of the Ka-50 Black Shark attack helicopter. The Ka-52 has all combat capabilities of its predecessor but can also be used for target designation and reconnaissance.