Skip to comments.US Cancels Russian Helicopter Deal Amid Syria Standoff – Senator
Posted on 11/13/2013 1:15:58 PM PST by Navy Patriot
WASHINGTON, November 13 (RIA Novosti) The United States has scrapped plans to purchase additional helicopters from state-run Russian arms exporter Rosoboronexport amid pressure from federal lawmakers over Russian arms deliveries to Syria, a top US senator said Wednesday.
I applaud the [US] Defense Departments decision to cancel its plan to buy 15 additional Mi-17 helicopters from Rosoboronexport, US Sen. John Cornyn said in statement, The Associated Press (AP) reported.
Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, has been leading a push in Congress to oppose the Pentagons purchase of Russian helicopters for deployment in Afghanistan due to Moscows weapons shipments to the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad as his forces battle rebel groups in a fierce civil war.
Russia has insisted that it is fulfilling existing contracts with Syria, and that the deliveries are legal under international law. Moscow has also questioned the composition and goals of the various armed groups fighting the Assad regime.
(Excerpt) Read more at en.ria.ru ...
LOL, an Obamatantrum.
Why are we buying helicopters from RUSSIA? Or any other country for that matter........
Russians make good helicopters.
The purchases are crony capitalist bribes to further cooperation with US government policy.
Yep, and Cornyn is first to get the memo.
No matter how good they are, we should by from American manufacturers.
The only upside I can see is this would force American manufacturers to upgrade their products to compete................
That’s my question. We don’t have any American manufacturers that can build a helicopter?
Rino’s begin racing right!
I think they plan to give them to the Afghans.
You couldn’t pay me to board a Russian aircraft.
...... I'm sorry, not keeping up with the times,...that's Government Motors or Government Electric.
The US government employs Austrian Economics, ... at least the Swastika part.
Generally speaking, you are correct.
We do, but I know that Russian helicopters are typically huge, and can carry lots of stuff. That may be why......
Kruschev said that they would sell us the rope with which we will hang ourselves.........perhaps he was right......
Correct. The helos mentioned in the article, Mi-17s, are big suckas. Even then, these are not the biggest helicopters that the Russkies make.
purchase heliocpters to use in Afghanistan by whom??
US troops should only use US products - we have an economy in trouble. Buying Russian won’t help it.
I suppose because the Afghans have been so nice to us.
Theirs are better at the high altitudes needed to fight in the Afghanistan mountains.
Reminds me of a scene from “2012’.
John Cusack: This is a BIG plane!
Wealthy Russian Oligarch: It’s Russian.................
Didn’t help them, much................
Yeah, and they were fighting to win, too!
Uhhhhh, which one was which, again?
IIRC, the ‘rebels’ learned that all you had to do was lure the helos into a narrow ravine and drop boulders onto them from above...................
Cancelling the deal is a Big mistake....
We didn't belong in Syria in the first place....supporting a bunch of rotten muzzies
Or Egypt...or Libya...
Guess who’s running the space station now...
that was my first question.
Looks like some U.S. business and political constituent leaders were trying to do their relatives in the old country a favor again.
Afghans couldn’t properly maintain U.S. helicopters, but the Russian Mi-17 is another story.
After logging quite a few hours in the back end of Russian Mi-17 Hip helicopters, several things about the aircraft and how the Russians built them became apparent. The Mi-17 is similar in size and has similar performance capabilities as a CH-47 Chinook helicopter but comparing the two is like comparing a Yugo with a Ferrari. Both helicopters will get you from point A to point B, but thats about where the similarity ends.
When an American boards an Mi-17, he knows right away hes on an alien aircraft; nothing is familiar. The interior is painted a sickly blue; theres no soundproofing padding, leaking hydraulic fluid smells strange, the engines loud and sounds like a washing machine with an unbalanced load and emits a foul smelling exhaust from half-burned fuel that finds its way into the troop compartment through the rear gunners window. But the most disconcerting thing about the Mi-17 is that the five rotor blades turn in a clockwise direction and the fuselage wobbles under the rotor blades in a counter clockwise direction. To fly in a forward motion while at the same time moving in a counter clockwise direction takes some getting used to.
Theres nothing on the Mi-17 thats automatic or computer controlled. If the pilot wants the helicopter to do something, a lever must be pulled, a switch flipped or a button pushed. It doesnt appear possible for the pilot to fly the aircraft alone in anything but straight and level flight. For anything else, it takes the pilot, the copilot, and the flight engineer working together to make the thing fly any kind of intricate maneuver. To watch the three of them put an Mi-17 into a tight LZ in marginal weather is like watching three maestros performing a concert together, but it makes one wonder what would happen to all on board if one or more of the trio were to become a casualty.
The overall simplicity of the Mi-17 is one of the most impressive things about it. This simplicity was demonstrated one day when we were out on an operation and our Mi-17 developed engine trouble. The pilot set us down on a small dirt road by a river; the Flight Engineer climbed up on the top of the aircraft, removed the engine cowling, and proceeded to disassemble the engine. Within a few minutes, there were parts and pieces of the engine lying all over the road, and it began to look to us as if we were out of the ongoing operation for good. But, just as we were about to call in that we were out of the play, the Flight Engineer found the offending engine part, pulled it out, blew on it several times and wiped it on his shirt, then he reassembled the engine, and we took off. Just try doing that with a CH-47 Chinook.
Even though the Mi-17 is a troop transport helicopter, it can be and usually is heavily armed. The Mi-17 can carry a variety of rack mounted weapons and the usual armament consists of rocket pods on the right and left side of the helicopter.
Mi-17s have rear clam-shell doors that can be swung out to take on equipment when the helicopter is on the ground with the engine shut down, but isnt practical for quickly loading and unloading troops. The helicopter can carry thirty-four troops who must enter and depart the aircraft from one small troop door near the front left side of the aircraft, and right beside this troop door is a rocket pod holding twenty 80MM rockets with High Explosive warheads.
Passengers must pass directly in front of this rocket pod when entering or departing the aircraft, and if the pilot feels its necessary during a heliborne assault, hell salvo 10-20 80MM rockets into the LZ and at least one of these rockets will miss fire and still be hanging in the pod and smoking when the helicopter lands. Troops exiting the helicopter must pass directly in front of this smoking rocket, and, needless to say, this gives departing troops incentive to make a very quick exit of the aircraft.
Mounted over the Mi-17s troop door is a hoist with a winch and several hundred feet of steel cable and is used to extract or lower personnel and equipment when an LZ is not available, but the hoist and steel cable have another and more mundane daily use. The five rotor blades on an Mi-17 generate a tremendous amount of static electricity during flight and when it sets down on an LZ on its three rubber tires it retains that charge of electricity until the helicopter is grounded. As an Mi-17 approaches an LZ, the Flight Engineer leans out the troop door, and, using the hoist, he lowers the steel cable with a grounding probe attached in order to ground the helicopter as it touches down. If a soldier walks up and touches an Mi-17 before the Flight Engineer has properly grounded the helicopter, the discharge of static electricity could possibly kill the soldier, or, at a minimum, it will knock him out.
Its almost comical to see an Mi-17 arrive on an LZ to pick up a team, and, even though the Flight Engineer signals its safe to do so, no one wants to be the first to approach the helicopter. All too often, the Flight Engineer thinks he has properly grounded the helicopter but hasnt. Therefore, Mi-17 protocol calls for junior personnel to board the aircraft first.
One of the most revealing things about how the Soviet Union designed and built aircraft or anything else for that matter is that the Mi-17 uses the same door handle on its troop door that’s been used on Russian army trucks since 1935. Apparently when the Mi-17 designer needed a door handle, he simply ordered a vehicle door handle from the door handle factory and was done with it.
If the Mi-17 had been a U.S. helicopter, the production of its troop door handle wouldve been ladled out as a dollop of pork on some U.S. Congressmans District. The contract for this door handle wouldve gone to, probably, the Congressmans brother-in-law. Tens of thousands of dollars wouldve been spent on that door handles R&D, and the final thoroughly tested and approved product wouldve been a one of a kind, ergonomic, Helicopter Door Handle, Type Mi-17 at a cost to the U.S. Taxpayer of at least a $1,000 each, but it wouldve really opened that door in style.
Like the Russian AK-47, the Mi-17 is crude, roughly finished, heavy, and compared to U.S. equipment theyre technically unsophisticated therefore comparatively easy for Third World soldiers to operate and maintain. As different from U.S. military equipment, there was no agenda involved in their design and production other than their utility. Lobbyists, politicians, and industrialists profit didnt enter into the equation as it always does in U.S. weapons procurement.
Sometimes I wonder how we won the Cold War with Russia and the Soviet Union. Or did we really win the war, as the United States now has a Marxist Communist President and Russia now has a Free Market Capitalist President. If that thought doesnt make your head hurt, nothing will.
“You couldnt pay me to board a Russian aircraft.”
I could pay you twenty bucks to name two Russian aircraft and you couldn’t do it.
Sure I could.
An idea of Russian LIGHT helicopter is Mi-8/17 and it is SLIGHTLY worse than Chinook in terms of payload which is a heaviest US helicopter. To make things worse Mi-8/17 takes less maintenance than Huey, it has better take-off and landing specs being capable to operate from high terrain in extreme heat, armed as heavy as a C-130 based gunship etc.
And if we are talking about a HEAVY russian helicopter it is Mi-26 and it’s payload is close to C-17.
A Russian version of Black Hawk is armed to a level of A-10, armored to a level of Stryker APC, features door gunner as a crew member and still brings up to a dozen troops to a battlefield. I might be wrong but it probably keeps a world record as a fastest mass produced chopper since earlier 1970s too.
Therefore, Mi-17 protocol calls for junior personnel to board the aircraft first..............
My father-in-law, now in his 80's, once said back in the 1970's that Russia (USSR then) would get more and more free, while we would get less and less free, until you reached the point where WE would rather live there than here...........looks like he was right............
Su, Tu, Yak, Mig, An, Mi models - to name the few.