Rostvertol Confirms Export Sale of Mi-26T2 Heavy Helicopter

 - August 24, 2015, 11:56 AM
A Mi-26T2 used for development flies with a Mi-28N attack helicopter. Algeria is buying the former and, according to reports, also the latter. (Photo: Vladimir Karnozov)

Rostvertol, part of the Russian Helicopters holding company, confirmed that Mil Mi-26T2 super-heavy helicopters have been sold to Algeria. Two have already been delivered, and four more will follow by early next year. The initial contract for six was agreed in June 2013,and has been followed by a second, for eight more. Both contracts provide for the training of Algerian pilots and maintainers.

The Algerian order enables Rostvertol to make the Mi-26T2 a new production standard. It features a state-of-the-art BREO-26 cockpit package from Russian avionics group KRET allowing for night operations, with a glass cockpit of five LCDs, digital data processing, satellite-aided navigation, secure datalink and built-in health-monitoring system. The number of aircrew is reduced from four to two (from five to three when using the rotorcraft’s sling).

The Mi-26’s maximum takeoff weight is 56 metric tons (123,457 pounds); the maximum payload is 20 tons (44,091 pounds). It can carry 82 armed soldiers or up to 60 wounded. Approximately 330 Mi-26s have been manufactured so far, including about 40 for export customers. The latest deliveries to the Russian armed forces comprised 17 Mi-26T versions between 2011 and 2014. China received three Mi-26Ts in 2007-10 and ordered one more for delivery in 2015. Neither country is yet a confirmed customer for the T2 version.

In addition to Mi-26T2s, the Algerian air force is, reportedly, to receive 42 Mi-28N attack helicopters. Together with refit and modernization of 39 in-service Mi-8AMTSh by their manufacturer Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant (UUAZ), the customer is paying a total of $2.7 billion. Algeria is also reported to be the first export customer for the S-400 long-range air defense system produced by Almaz-Antei. Confirmation is yet to come, but in 2003 Algeria was one of the first countries to receive the predecessor S-300PMU-2 surface-to-air missile system. The Russian air force has so far equipped 19 of a planned 56 air defense units with the S-400, each with eight launchers.