The Ukrainian Army has deployed a new version of the Mil Mi-8 Hip helicopter. On decree of the Ukrainian Minister of Defence, Col. Gen. Mykhaylo Koval, the armed forces have commissioned the first air landing and transport helicopter dubbed Mi-8MSB-V on 24 April 2014.
The chopper is an indigenous upgraded version of the Mi-8T already in Ukrainian service. The most significant upgrade are new, more modern engines to improve the Hip’s performance. Moreover a flight information recording system, emergency beacon and climate control unit have been installed.
The Mi-8MSB-V (Мі-8МСБ-В in Ukrainian, Ми-8МСБ-В in Russian) is to perform air transport, paradrop missions, training, search and rescue and aerial surveillance. All Hips serve with the Ukrainian Army Aviation, with an estimated 30 operational. One Mi-8 exploded on Kramatorsk Airbase on 25 April (see more in our Overview: the Air Forces of Ukraine), but it is not known which type of Hip it was.
Source: Ukrainian Ministry of Defence with additional reporting by AIRheads’ editor Marcel Burger