Russian Helicopters says LOTN Afghan Mi-17 helicopter overhaul illegal

19 March 2019 (Last Updated March 19th, 2019 12:59)

Russian Helicopters has labelled Slovakian aircraft repair firm LOTN's overhaul of Russian-made Mi-17 helicopters belonging to the Afghan Air Force as illegal.

Russian Helicopters says LOTN Afghan Mi-17 helicopter overhaul illegal
An Afghan Mi-17 helicopter taking off for an air-assault training flight from Kabul International Airport, Afghanistan. Credit: Staff Sgt Todd Pouliot.

Russian Helicopters has labelled Slovakian aircraft repair firm LOTN overhaul of Russian-made Mi-17 helicopters belonging to the Afghan Air Force as illegal.

According to the company, repair work of the second Mi-17V-5 helicopter was carried out based on repair documentation developed by the LOTN.

Russian Helicopters has accused the Slovakian firm of carrying out the work unilaterally without participation or supervision from either the helicopter designer Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant or manufacturer Kazan Helicopters.

Furthermore, Russian Helicopters added that repeated attempts to settle the issue of overhauling the Mi-17 type helicopters operated by the Air Force of Afghanistan did not yield the desired result.

The parties could not reach an amicable understanding with LOTN on the issue.

“In addition, Russian helicopter designer and manufacturer Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant noted that LOTN’s claims that it cooperated with the company for the work are false.”

The company went on to claim that neither the actualised overhaul and design documentation for the Mi-17V-5 military transport helicopter and spare parts nor repair group sets were supplied to LOTN.

In addition, Russian helicopter designer and manufacturer Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant noted that LOTN’s claims that it cooperated with the company for the work are false.

In a statement, Russian Helicopters said: “Russian Helicopters Holding Company disclaims all responsibility for further safe operation of the helicopter repaired by LOTN and has every reason to deny services related to maintenance of this aircraft.”

Earlier this month, LOTN announced that it is set to deliver the next Mi-17 helicopter to the Afghan Air Force following the completion of a general overhaul.

The company performed the work under a contract secured with the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) in 2016.

Mi-17V-5 is a military transport variant in the Mi-8/17 family of helicopters. It can be used to drop tactical air assault forces and reconnaissance and sabotage groups, as well as destroy ground targets.