Ukraine Mi 8 donation Latvia 640Latvian helicopters donated to Ukraine

On 15 August 2022, Latvian and Ukrainian media reported about the transfer of two Mi-2 and two Mi-8MTV-1 helicopters from the Latvijas Gaisa Spéki (Latvian Air Force) to Ukraine.

All four helicopters were painted in full Ukrainian colours before being partially disassembled and shipped to Ukraine. One of the Mi-8MTV-1 recently underwent an overhaul.

The Mi-2s are probably the two Mi-2s that were in storage at Lielvarde for some years. Latvia had an inventory of four Mi-8MTV-1 which is now reduced to only two which are mainly used for SAR duties.

All latvian Mi-8s will be replaced by four Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawks that are already on order through a Foreign Military Sale (FMS) construction. In August 2018, the US State Department made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Latvia of four UH-60Ms and related equipment valued at USD 200 million.

Ukraine Mi 2 donation Latvia 320Delivery of the Black Hawks is however delayed for several months. Originally it was planned that one UH-60M was to be delivered this year, two in 2023 and the last one in 2024.

In the meantime, Black Hawk maintenance training for Latvian military personnel is provided by the he Michigan Army National Guard’s (MI ARNG) Company B, 1st Battalion, 147th Aviation Regiment (Co.B/1-147th AVN) at Grand Ledge/Abrams Municipal airport.

Photos via Ukraine Air Force

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