Ukraine needs more planes for its military. Ukraine is a large country and it is easy to travel long distances by air. In addition, helicopters are used to fire unguided rockets, which rain down a deadly hail over the heads of Russian soldiers. Ukraine’s military aviation is getting some reinforcements. For example, a handful of Mi-17s will come from Ecuador.

The Mi-17 is in service with the Armed Forces of Ukraine.The Mi-17 is in service with the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The Mi-17 is in service with the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Image credit: via Ministry of Defense of Ukraine Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Ecuador will receive the UH-60A/L. Black Eagle Helicopters from America and Ukraine will give Soviet Mi-17 aircraft in return. That’s quite an upgrade for the South American nation and some additional resources for Ukraine. But why aren’t the Blackhawks going straight to Ukraine?

Ukraine desperately needs helicopters and they are being used very actively. More Mi-17s is big news. But experts note that all is not well with the helicopters that Ecuador is providing. “Only one of the Mi-17s delivered by Ecuador is actually operational, the rest can only be dismantled for spare parts. But we are talking about machinery that is familiar to our troops. and does not require separate infrastructure. Defense Express reports.

Ecuador does not hide the fact that at least some of these Mi-17s will only be part donors. Ukrainian experts fear that the package could turn into a pile of scrap metal. A gift is a gift, but Ecuador is getting Blackhawk!

Ecuador agreed with the United States to transfer a variety of Soviet weapons to Ukraine in exchange for Blackhawk helicopters, which the country needs to fight drug cartels. Thanks to this agreement, Ukraine will receive Grad multiple launch rocket system, Osa air defense system and Mi-17 helicopters. But it is known that some of these devices are not working.

Why doesn’t the US give the Blackhawks to Ukraine instead of giving them to Ecuador? “It would be better for our country to acquire Western technology. Besides, we already have the experience of operating the same Blackhawks”, Defense Express noted. The answer is time. Ukraine has both pilots and technical personnel to serve the Soviet system. Although some Blackhawk pilots can be found in Ukraine, the technical infrastructure for these helicopters cannot be developed quickly enough. Mi-17s can be moved quickly, even if they are only suitable for repairing helicopters that Ukraine has, because training is not required.

The Mil Mi-17 is a twin-turbine medium-sized transport helicopter, capable of carrying 24 troops or 4 tons of cargo. It can be used to fire unguided rockets, perform medical evacuation and other roles. The Mi-17 took off for its maiden flight in 1975. Ukraine had a bunch of them. In fact, many countries still use them today. They are cheap to operate and quite reliable. Hopefully, Ukraine can use these Ecuadorian resources to the best of their ability at this time, but Ukraine should also have the opportunity to upgrade to the Blackhawk platform in the future.

written by Povelas M.

Sources: 24tv.ua, Wikipedia