Why Do Latin American Countries Prefer Russian Helicopters?


Russian helicopters are better suited to the conditions of Latin American countries and are one of the most attractive for the local market – this is what businessmen and military officials from Ecuador, Peru and Chile who attended the HeliRussia International Fair, held May 24-26 in Moscow, concluded.

Russia’s helicopters are also attractive to Latin America because of their price, World Army spokesman Pablo Velasco said.

“The price of a good helicopter, the power it has, the work it can do is comparable to its competitors, but the latter can have a much higher price,” Velasco said.

According to the Ecuadorian military, the country is considering the purchase of Russian aircraft, in particular eight-passenger helicopters for medical support and rescue.

According to Velasco, the HeliRussia 2018 fair surprised him as to how better suited the Russian product is for his country.

“The Russian helicopters’ construction technologies are well on the heels of their competitors, the tasks performed by Russian air vehicles of this type are excellent, the power is very good, but the price is much better than that of United States aircraft,” he stressed.

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Peru has a large fleet of Russian helicopters, most of them belonging to the state, according to Javier Castilla. These include the Mi-8 and Mi-17 helicopters that are best adapted to the geography and altitudes of the Andean country, explained Castile.

According to him, the market share of Russian military helicopters in Peru has changed since Vertolyoty Rossii (Russian Helicopters) holding company sold Mi-17 helicopters to the country.

“In addition, they are setting up a factory to do the ‘refurbishment’ of these air vehicles in Peru. There is also a private company that maintains 14 Mi-17 and Mi-8 helicopters,” he added.

The military attaché of the Chilean embassy in Moscow, Colonel Sergio Estévez, who already had the opportunity to work with the Russian aircraft, said that these “are very reliable, with great capabilities and characteristics.”

At the same time, the attache opined that each country has its “stars”, adding that the United States and France also offer quality helicopters.

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