The Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) has deployed a pair of Mil Mi-17 Hip medium-lift utility helicopters to support the UN’s Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).
Both Hip utility helicopters were deployed to the Central African Republic aboard a UN-chartered Antonov An-124 heavy-lift strategic transport from Maximus Air Cargo between March 29 and April 2.
They are part of a replacement for three Sri Lankan Mi-17s that had been supporting the UN’s Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), which have since returned to Sri Lanka.
According to the SLAF, “the aircraft rotation was coordinated through [the] SLAF UN Mission Cell under the supervision of [the] Chief of Staff, Director Air Operations, Director Aeronautical Engineering and Director Logistics.”
The new arrivals will join several other helicopters from participating countries deployed under MINUSCA.
In 2020, three Mi-171Sh helicopters of the Bangladesh Air Force we’re deployed to the Central African Republic. Bangladesh Mi-17sh helicopter can be armed and are equipped for night operations, they will undertake transport role for the UN.
Also in May 2021, Russian Aerospace Forces delivered at least one vastly upgraded Mi-8MT and one Mi-24V helicopters to the armed forces of the Central African Republic. Few months earlier, a heavy-lift An-124 Ruslan (Condor) cargo plane delivered two Russian Mi-8AMTSh Hip multi-purpose helicopters to the Bangui M’poko International Airport in the Central African Republic.
That same period, Tunisia deployed three armed AB205 helicopters to CAR to boost UN MINUSCA air operations. The Tunisian helicopters are equipped with miniguns, a Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) Star Safire III Multi Mission Surveillance System and HGU-56/P Improved Rotary Wing Helmet System.