11 European states will have to replace their Russian helicopters

WARSAW ($1=4.59 Polish Zlotys) — Eleven countries of Central and Eastern Europe have in their arsenal more than 263 helicopters of Russian origin, which, due to the war in Ukraine, will be very difficult to maintain. Under these circumstances, the armed forces of these nations are faced with the need to replace them with models developed in other countries.

Afghan Mi-17 helos in Arizona: arranged and battle-ready to Ukraine
Photo credit: 167th Airlift Wing

Specifically, the distribution of this fleet by country is as follows: Bosnia and Herzegovina has a dozen Mi-8s and one Mi-17; Bulgaria has 6 Mi-24 and 5 Mi-17; Croatia has 14 Mi-8 and 10 Mi-171Sh; Cyprus has 11 Mi-35P; Slovakia has 13 Mi-17s, along with more than 15 Mi-24s in storage; Hungary operates 8 Mi-24s, 5 Mi-17s and adds another 10 Mi-8s to its inventory now in storage; Latvia has 3 Mi-8s; North Macedonia has half a dozen Mi-8s, two Mi-17s, two Mi-24s, and eight Mi-24s (the latter are in storage); Poland has 28 Mi-24, 22 Mi-8, 8 naval Mi-14 and 17 Mi-17 helicopters; The Czech Republic has 16 Mi-171S, 10 Mi-35P, 7 Mi-24, 5 Mi-17 and four Mi-8, and Serbia finally has 8 Mi-8, 6 Mi-17, four Mi-35M and two Mi -24s.

This account was collected by the specialized Polish media Defense24, in a material in which it recognizes the difficulties in obtaining parts from Russia to keep these planes in the air, as a long-term consequence of the war in Ukraine.

It should also be taken into account that the demand for new helicopters may increase beyond the simple replacement of the existing ones, given the increase in defense efforts that are taking place in the area as a result of the invasion that Russia launched from Ukraine on February 24.

Polish industry

To the eleven countries mentioned we must also add Ukraine, which will logically be forced to divest itself in the future of the fleet of post-Soviet helicopters it still has [along with those of the same type it receives from other countries to continue its military efforts against Moscow].

The Defense24 information highlights the forecasts for the Polish helicopter factories PZL-Świdnik, owned by the Italian company Leonardo Helicopters, and PZLMielec, owned by the American Lockheed Martin.


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