Ukrainian company Ukroboronprom’s Odessa Aircraft Plant is set to substitute imported components of Mi-8 helicopters.
The decision will see the company install self-produced soft fuel tanks (SFT) on Mi-8 helicopters as part of the import substitution programme.
The latest move follows the successful ground and flight testing of tanks.
However, the Ukrainian Air Force Command is expected to commence the serial production of SFT only after certain issues are addressed.
With the work expected to commence this year, the company aims to produce 16 tanks per year.
Powered by two Klimov TV2-117 turboshafts engines, the Mi-8T military transport helicopter is configured with a conventional pod and boom, with a tail rotor and non-retractable tricycle nosewheel landing gear. The five-bladed rotor is made from aluminium alloy.
The helicopters are manufactured by the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant JSC in Moscow, the Kazan Helicopter Plant JSC in Kazan and the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant, and are available in civil and military versions.
The military variants include the Mi-8T transport, VIP transport, electronic warfare, reconnaissance, Mi-8TV armed version and the search and rescue Mi-8MPS.
The aircraft is also operated by the air forces of Yugoslavia, Finland and South Sudan.
Odessa Aircraft Plant provides high-quality aircraft repair and maintenance, modernisation, spare parts manufacturing and staff training.
Image: An Mi-8 helicopter. Photo: courtesy of Oleg Belyakov.