Russia is set to begin the mass production of the Mi-26T2V military transport helicopter by the end of 2021, rotorcraft designer Russian Helicopters told the state-owned TASS News Agency.
Considered the heaviest military transport helicopter ever built, the Mi-26T2V has a payload capacity of 20 tons (18,144 kilograms) and carries a crew of five. It is equipped with an NPK90-2V avionics suite for day and night operation in automatic control mode.
According to Russian Helicopters chief executive Andrei Boginsky, the company is in the final stage of baseline configurations for the helicopter. He revealed that flight tests are nearing completion.
“There are a few flights remaining to wrap up the Mi-26T2V’s flight tests. We expect to perform these flights by the end of the year and get the O1 code,” Boginsky explained, adding that the first helicopters have already been delivered to the Russian armed forces.
Once mass production begins, the Russian Ministry of Defense will reportedly acquire 10 more units.
The Mi-26T2V is an upgraded heavy-lift helicopter designed to transport up to 82 troops, heavy combat vehicles, and other military equipment.
The aircraft also boasts double-wheeled landing gear, a main rotor system with eight blades, improved air conditioning, and cargo compartment heating systems.
Additionally, the Mi-26T2V features a defensive aids suite that protects the helicopter from air defense missile systems.