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Army’s Transport Helicopters Back In Service To Reinforce Hungary’s Defence And Security

Robert Velkey 2017.07.26.

The Hungarian Defence Ministry’s Mi-17 helicopters were officially put back in service on Tuesday after undergoing overhauls, with a ceremony held in Szolnok, in central Hungary, to welcome them back to the fleet.

„It is the Government’s decided goal to reinforce the Hungarian Defence Force, which guarantees Hungary’s security”, the Minister of Defence István Simicskó said at an event to mark the major refurbishment of the army’s fleet of Mi-17 transport helicopters. Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Simicskó noted that the government had recently decided to overhaul and upgrade 4+1 Mi-17 helicopters.

The overhauls covered upgrades to the helicopters’ engines and airframe structures and the company also changed their rotor blades, tail rotor blades, electrical wiring, contactors and hydraulics. The upgraded helicopters will be kept in service for eight more years or until they rack up 2,000 flight hours, the minister said. He added that the helicopter overhauls are in line with Hungary’s fulfilment of its commitments to NATO. Simicskó noted that the ministry’s ten-year comprehensive military development programme, dubbed Zrínyi 2026, includes upgrading the military’s helicopters.

Simicskó pointed out that the Ministry of Defence had issued an open tender for the full refurbishment of the 4 transport helicopters, within the framework of which four tenders were submitted by four applicants and the tender was won by a Russian helicopter manufacturer, AO Vertoljoti Rossziji, who undertook to complete the order at a cost of 3.9 billion forints (EUR 12.7 M). The company has performed the industrial overhaul of the helicopters in a suitably professional manner, he stressed.

“The Zrinyi 2026 military development programme also includes the procurement of new helicopters, and the Hungarian Defence Force will be developed in phases as defence spending increases during the upcoming ten years”, Simicskó highlighted.


photos:; János Mészáros / MTI