The Lithuanian Air Force's two Mi-8T helicopters that were at the center of a scandal over plans to repair them in Russia have been repaired and are back in service, the military said on Thursday.
Lithuanian airforce Dauphin helicopter

"With the helicopters repaired, the Air Force can ensure the fulfillment of the Lithuanian Armed Forces' commitments to the nations taking part in NATO's air-policing mission, maintain the qualifications of helicopter pilots and partially meet other military training needs," Colonel Ramūnas Titenis, acting Air Force commander, said in a press release.

The repaired helicopters will be used for search and rescue operations, for transporting troops and for medical evacuation and other tasks.

Both Mi-8Ts will also be used during this year's major military exercises in Lithuania and will support other military units in daily military training.

The helicopters were repaired by Helisota, a Lithuanian helicopter maintenance, repair and overhaul services provider, jointly with sub-contractors in Azerbaijan.

The company had initially planned to send the military helicopters to Russia for repairs, but the Foreign Ministry halted these plans at the last stage in 2016.

The scandal has cost Audronis Navickas his job as commander of the Lithuanian Air Force.

The Air Force currently has 12 helicopters, including three Dauphins and nine Mi-8Ts, but six of the latter aircraft are not in service at the moment. Three of them are planned to be repaired and the remaining three will be decommissioned.

It is prohibited to copy and republish the text of this publication without a written permission from UAB „BNS“.
Leave a comment
or for anonymous commenting click here
By posting, you agree to terms
Read comments Read comments

NATO jets in Baltic scrambled once to intercept Russian plane

NATO fighter jets, stationed in the Baltic states as part of the NATO air policing mission, were...

US Army deploys tanks, IFVs to Lithuania for training

The US Army's Abrams tanks and Bradley infantry fighting vehicles were on Friday transported to...

Defense Ministry moves to lower upper age limit for conscripts to 23 years (Updated)

The Lithuanian Defense Ministry proposes to lower the upper age limit for draftees for mandatory...

Croatia to rejoin NATO battalion in Lithuania in 2 years

Croatia plans to rejoin NATO 's multinational battalion in Lithuania in two years' time, the...

Government asks MPs to allow it to borrow funds to meet 2 pct defense spending target

The Lithuanian government has asked the parliament to allow it to borrow funds to increase defense...