6 Maret 2007
Mi-26T of the Russia (photo : Militaryphotos)
Indonesia is very keen to procure Russian-made Mi-26T multipurpose heavy lift helicopter, especially the fire-fighting version. Not only one but two units to be procured along with two fire-fighting amphibious Beriev Be-200 aircraft.
Angkasa source recently said, a demonstration flight will be conducted in the presence of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono April next month in Jambi, Sumatera. An Mi-26T helicopter will be ferry flown from Russia to Jakarta for the purpose.
The gigantic 28,6 ton eight blades helicopter has the capability to transport 15 ton of water to the fire site, complementing with the Be-200 in extinguishing forest fire such as on Sumatera and Kalimantan of last year.
Beriv Be-200 of the Russia (photo : Beriev)
To extinguish forest fire on the two provinces, Indonesia leased two Be-200s from Russia. Its successful mission, resulted the interest of the Indonesian government to procure three to four Be-200s, each with a price-tag of US$ 40 million.
“After further study, government decided to buy two Be-200s and two Mi-26T helicopters for the future fire-fighting missions”, said Angkasa’s source. The forest fire is a seasonal occurrence, the worst forest fire in the last five years occurred in the provinces which currently triggered government to owned fire-fighting aircraft. (Dudi Sudibyo)