Russian Mi-8AMTSh-VA Ready for Arctic Ops

Russia is presently upgrading many vehicles and aircraft for Arctic operations. The Russian militarization of the Arctic has become one of Russia’s main defence priority since Vladimir Putin became President in 2000. To be able to withstand the harsh environment, there is no choice but to design new technologies to remain the most advanced country when it comes to Arctic operations.

The new Mi-8AMTSh-VA is being tested to become Russia’s main helicopter transport in the Arctic. It has been designed to withstand temperature up to -50 degrees Celsius and can be flown in low visibility conditions, a must for the challenging polar nights. Besides, the helicopter’s navigation system is able to fly even without external reference such as the GPS/GLONASS. Built for Arctic and Extreme North operations, the helicopter has a new Klimov-made VK-2500-03 turboshaft engines, a more powerful TA-14 auxiliary power unit and an upgraded avionics suite.

Russian Air Force Mi-8AMTSh-VA
Russian Air Force Mi-8AMTSh-VA

Sputnik News reported that Alexander Mikheev spoke about the new Mi-8AMTSh-VA during the MAKS-2015 air show.

The Russian Helicopters design and manufacturing company “is working on the new Mi-8AMTSh-VA helicopter designed to be used in the Arctic and the Extreme North. The development stage is over and the rotorcraft is expected to undergo testing in the second half of 2015,” company’s CEO Alexander Mikheev said during the MAKS-2015 air show.

Mikheev also added that the rotocraft will remain operational even if loses satellite signals.

“Thanks to new avionics the helicopter will be able to fly in any weather conditions, day and night. The rotorcraft will remain operational even if it loses satellite signal. The Mi-8AMTSh-VA was created for the Ministry of Defense to be used by forces deployed to the Arctic,”

The Mi-8AMTSh-VA can carry up to 36 troops. Additionnally, two 7.62-mm machine guns are hidden behind the doors and can be operated by the passengers. Adding to that, the Mi-8AMTSh-VA can also carry payloads up to 4 000 kg such as Shturm-V or Ataka-V anti-tank missiles and Igla-V air-to-air missiles.

Russia’s Mi-8AMTSh-VA will definitely be an asset for Arctic militarization and should enable soldiers to conduct successful operations.

We will definitely see them stationed in Arctic military bases in great numbers in the near future.



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Jonathan Wade, CD

Jonathan Wade is the director of the ‘The Sentinel Analytical Group’ and a decorated veteran of the Canadian Forces. Specialized in tactical, strategic, intelligence and geopolitics analysis, Jonathan has a fondness for technical details. His military experience brought him valuable insight on the realities of conflicts and war. A combat veteran of Afghanistan, Jonathan brings in in-theatre experience. Jonathan writes about Russia, Canada and Arctic.