Details of Russian peacekeeping forces helicopters to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone

Starting on 10 November 2020, the Russian military has begun deploying troops to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone following the start of the peacekeeping operation. Earlier the Russian Defense Ministry announced that a total of 1,960 peacekeepers, 90 armored personnel carriers and 380 vehicles and pieces of special equipment would be sent to the self-declared Nagorno-Karabakh region in Azerbaijan, alongside with the withdrawal of Armenian forces from the region.

The first five Ilyushin Il-76MD Candid airlifters with Russian peacekeepers have taken off from Ulyanovsk/Vostochny (Russia), carrying personnel, armored vehicles and material resources.

Two days later, another shipment arrived to the airfield in Yerevan (armenia) on the An-124 Ruslan strategic haulers of the 224 FU JSC (Flight Unit 224) State Airlines Company, a state-owned commercial outfit offering non-military and commercial air transport services to the government and other customers using aircraft of the Russian Air Force’s Military Transport Aviation service. One of the haulers was identified as An-124-100 with registration RA-82035 (msn 9773054832061), manufactured in 1988.

The precious cargo delivered to Yerevan were eight Mi-24P attack and Mi-8AMTSh-V transport helicopters of the Russian Federation - Aerospace Forces (RF VKS). The main role for these helicopters is to monitor the ceasefire and military operations control areas in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone, as well as transport of the material and personnel of the 15th separate motorized rifle brigade to unaccessible areas and observation posts along the line of contact in Artsakh and along the Lachin corridor.

The deployed helicopters are part of the 337.OVP (337th Independent Helicopter Regiment)*, a unit of the RF VKS, based at Tolmachevo Airport, near Novosibirsk. The unit is part of the 14th Air and Air Defence Forces Army controlled by the Central Military District.

All helicopters were seen sporting blue stripes of the Russian peacekeeping contingent, wearing MC (MS) signs, a cyrillic abbreviation of the Russian words Mirotvorcheskiye Sily (peacekeeping forces).

Some of the helicopters were identified as follows:

Mi-8AMTSh-V - a modernised variant of the Mi-8AMTSh, Klimov VK-2500-03 powerplants, all Ukrainian components replaced with domestic hardware
231 Yellow, serial RF-95592 (msn 8AMTS00643137390U)
234 Yellow, serial RF-95595 (msn 8AMTS00643137403U)
255 Yellow, no serial as of yet
#09 Yellow, serial RF-93545 or RF-92515 (msn 3532433623628)
#41 Yellow, serial RF-93077 to be confirmed (msn 3532432724715)
#28 Yellow, serial RF-94978

The 337th Independent Helicopter Regiment (337.OVP) was established back in December 1978 at Sokol, Saratov Oblast (part of the Moscow Military District) and since 1979 it was redeployed to Mahlwinkel, East Germany, as part of the 16th Air Army.

In 1994 the regiment returned to Russia as part of the Russian Armed Forces and was then based at 3917th Air Base near Berdsk, Novosibirsk Oblast. In 2011, it moved to Tolmachevo, where it was known briefly as the 562 abAA (562nd Army Aviation Base), before returning to its original name.

The Russian Ministry of Defence has published a video on facebook of the helicopters being loaded on the An-124.

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