|Russian Helicopters Mi-171 in flight. Photo courtesy of Russian Helicopters
Russian Helicopters is breaking further into the Middle Eastern market by supplying the Kazakhstan Emergencies Ministry and Kazakhstan Border Service with Mi-171s for use in border patrol, search and rescue missions, as well as personnel and cargo transport.
The Border Service has already received its Mi-171Sh, which will be used in routine patrols of the Kazakh border and also to transport special forces troops to detain anyone that illegally crosses the border. The helicopter can be fitted with on-board defense systems and can carry up to 36 troops, with the ability to land four troops simultaneously.
The Kazakhstan Emergencies Ministry has placed an order for a Mi-171E, a variation of the Mi-8/17 series, which is typically used for medical assistance and SAR operations after disasters such as flooding, earthquakes, or forest fires. Delivery is expected for 2015.
Both helicopters are produced by the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant, a subsidiary of Russian Helicopters. The Mi-171E has the option to add equipment needed to work in strenuous mountain conditions, in order to operate at air temperatures ranging from minus 50 to plus 50 degrees C.