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    Russia Air Force to adopt new training helicopter by 2010

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    The Ansat training helicopter will enter service with Russia's Air Force by 2010, once government tests and initial operation with military units are completed, a senior military official said Tuesday.

    MOSCOW, January 29 (RIA Novosti) - The Ansat training helicopter will enter service with Russia's Air Force by 2010, once government tests and initial operation with military units are completed, a senior military official said Tuesday.

    The Ansat, a light multipurpose helicopter developed by the Kazan Helicopter Plant (KVZ), is capable of carrying a pilot and nine passengers. It has a maximum take off weight of 3.3 tons, a maximum payload of one metric ton, and a cruising speed of 250 km/h.

    "The Air Force will need 25-30 Ansat machines immediately, and then the number will increase," said Maj. Gen. Viktor Ivanov, head of the Armed Forces Army Aviation Directorate.

    He said the decision to adopt the Ansat as a mainstay trainer was made in 2001.

    A KVZ executive was previously quoted as saying that some Ansat features, such as its electronic control system, enable it to be used as a platform for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

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