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Upgraded Mi-26T2V heavy lift helicopter completes maiden flight

The upgraded heavy Mi-26T2V helicopter developed for the Russian Aerospace Forces has performed its first flight, Russian Helicopters affiliated with Russia's Rostec said Sunday.

Upgraded Mi 26T2V heavy lift helicopter completes maiden flight 001 The Mi-26T2V first prototype during factory tests at JSC Rostvertol, Rostov-on-Don
(Credit: Mi-26/

"The successful completion of the first flight shows that the technical solutions used to modernize the Mi-26 for the the Russian Defense Ministry are correct. We were able to significantly reduce the crew workload, largely automating the flight and landing of such a large and complex machine. In addition, the survivability of the helicopter has been significantly improved due to the installation of a modern on-board defense complex," said Andrei Boginsky, the general director of Russian Helicopters.

The helicopter made her maiden flight at the flight test center of its subordinate manufacturer Rostvertol located in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, according to the company's press service.

The prototype aircraft, manufactured by Rosvertol, is to be showcased at the Army's "2018 international military and technical forum" to be held in the Moscow region on August 21-26 and the subsequent preliminary flight tests, the press service said.

Delivery of the newly modified helicopters to the Russian army will be carried out under the state armament program for 2018-2027, according to Anatoly Serdyukov, the industrial director of Rostec's aviation segment.

The upgraded Mi-26T2V helicopter, designed to air-lift equipment, large-sized cargoes and paratroops, has a lifting capacity of 20 tons and the ability to defend itself against various types of missiles. Being created based on the Mi-26T2, the "V" version is essentially an upgraded Mi-26T fitted with new avionics. The helicopter is also equipped with a NPK90-2V on-board radio electronic equipment, which provides day and night navigation  with automatic flight capability.

The series production of the T-2 started in May 2015. In the autumn of 2016, it became known that the Defense Ministry ordered creation of a specialized military version of Mi-26T2V, which will be able to take off and touch down from/on unprepared sites.