Hungary’s Mi-17 helicopters back in service after overhauls
The 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.
Speaking at the ceremony, Defence Minister István Simicskó noted that the government had recently decided to overhaul and upgrade 4+1 Mi-17 helicopters. The ministry called an open tender for the maintenance work.
The contract, worth 3.9 billion forints (EUR 12.8m), was won by Russia‘s Vertolety Rossii, he noted.
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.