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Soteria - SAR-H contract under review

Soteria, a consortium of CHC, Thales, Sikorsky Aircraft, RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland), have had thier PFI (Private Finance Initiatve) for SAR-H put under urgent and immeadiate review by the defence secretary Dr Liam Fox.  The agreement with the previous labour goverment was to use 24 Sikorsky S-92 helicopters.

Read more and see photos in our next issue of Helicopter Monthly, register here to get your free copy.


Sunday, 01 August 2010 09:37

Lynx helicopters help bring fight to Taliban

After nearly two months of being operational in Afghanistan, the world's fastest helicopter, the Lynx Mark 9A, has proved to be a vital boost to the UK's battlefield capability.

The crews from the Army Air Corps that fly the aircraft say it has massively enhanced capability, as it is light and agile and perfect for the rapid deployment and extraction of small numbers of troops.

In comparison to their predecessors, the Lynx Mk9As have increased fire power, more powerful engines, and the ability to operate all year in the harsh 'hot and high' Afghan environment.

The helicopter, which is capable of lifting surprisingly heavy loads for its size, is currently flown in Afghanistan by 672 Squadron of the Army Air Corps.

The aircraft's value in the battle against insurgents lies in its versatile performance. The Lynx crews can track insurgent movements and watch over vulnerable areas with its sophisticated surveillance camera.  This 'overwatch' capability helps in the protection of the massive convoys used to resupply front line troops in the forward operating bases.

The convoys can be vulnerable to attack as they track across vast swathes of desert from base to base but with the Lynx and its formidable weapons systems circling above, the insurgents stay away.

The searing heat of the Afghan summers regularly sees temperatures soar over 45C which meant that other aircraft could only fly at night and even then their lift capacity was limited.

The upgraded Lynx joined the other aircraft in Joint Helicopter Force (Afghanistan) (JHF(A)), commanded from Camp Bastion, in May 2010. The Joint Helicopter Force comprises helicopters from all three Services operating to support the multinational coalition effort, including Chinooks, Merlins, Apaches and Sea Kings.

Read more and see photos in our next issue of Helicopter Monthly, register here to get your free copy.

Thursday, 29 July 2010 13:48

Peru buys eight helicopters from Russia, six Mi-171Sh Hip transport and two Mi-35P Hind attack helicopters.

The Peruvian air force is purchasing eight Russian-built helicopters from the state-controlled arms exporter Rosoboronexport. News quoted by Rosoboronexport states that the contract was officially signed on the, July 22, by Peru's Defense Minister and Rosoboronexport, for the delivery of six Mi-171Sh Hip transport and two Mi-35P Hind attack helicopters, that will be sent to Peru by 2011.

According to reports, the deal is worth around US $250 million.

Peru's Defense Minister Rafael Rey told the press that these helicopters “are the best to perform military operations in the Apurimac-Ene river valley (VRAE) area,” a place that is known to be a hideaway for drug traffickers (narcoterrorism).

The area was declared a zone of military operations in August 2009 as fighting between the government troops and the Shining Path Maoist guerilla group intensified.

Shining Path has been included in US and EU list of terrorist organizations.

Minister Rey also stressed that these helicopters were to support military operations "in the fight against narcoterrorism," but will have civilian uses too, specially for humanitary missions.

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