Russia will increase its air forces in Armenia by adding a helicopter squadron to the fighter unit already operating from Erebuni Air Base/Gyumri near Yerevan, reports Russian press agency RAI Novosti.
Currently Erebuni is home to 16 Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29 Fulcrum fighters, part of a by Russia brokered deal to provide defences for the ex-Soviet republics part of the Commonwealth of Independent States. Erebuni is located close to the border with Turkey and therefore a key asset of the Russian military. Officially the airport also accommodates civilian passenger and cargo flights, but those are very limited to charters and services on demand.
The type of helicopter that will be based at Erebuni is yet unclear, but it will likely be either Mi-17s, Mi-24V/Ps or even the Mi-28N Night Hunter. The Armenian Air Force main air assets are 16 Mi-24s and 18 Mi-8s, plus a dozen Su-25 ground attack aircraft.
Source: RAI Novosti with additional reporting by AIRheads’ Marcel Burger