Russian Helicopters, September 21, 2014 - RIA Novosti - Russia’s Air Force helicopters made a record longest crossing in the history of army aviation at the large-scale military exercise codenamed "Vostok-2014", the spokesman of the Press Service and Information Department of the Russian Defence Ministry said to reporters on Sunday.
"Sixteen new Mi-8AMTSh helicopters have made a crossing over the sea from the island of Iturup (Kuril Ridge) to Yelizovo airfield. The helicopters spent more than six hours in the air, having flown more than 1300 km over the sea", said the officer. According to him, such an unprecedented flight became possible thanks to several additional fuel tanks installed, allowing the helicopters to fly such distance without any stops.
As Colonel Sergey Dyagilev, senior flight inspector of Flight Safety Service of Aviation Directorate of the 3rd Air and Air Defence Forces Command, explained, these helicopters are based in the Eastern Military District and made that flight to participate in the drill of "Vostok-2014". He added that pilots from the Eastern Military District would "test" these helicopters and if this innovation proves to be successful, Mi-8AMTSh helicopters will be equipped with additional fuel tanks, which can be removed and reinstalled, if necessary.
The large strategic command-and-staff exercises ("Vostok-2014") are being held in the territory of the Eastern Military District from September 19 to 25. The exercise was preceded by unannounced combat readiness checks and mobilization tests of civil bodies. "Vostok-2014" is the final stage of a series of drills and checks in 2014.