SLAF to send two Choppers to ‘unqualified’ Lithuanian company for repair ?

September 30, 2020

Two Sri Lanka Air Force Special Transport Squadron (VVIP) helicopters are to be handed over to an unqualified helicopter repairing company in Lithuanian for repair, reports say.

The two helicopters SMH-4419 MI 171E and SMH-4429 MI 171 E have been awarded the lowest bid under tender number 18 / fr / m.17 / 10/1 to a Lithuanian company.

The Russian-made choppers were purchased by the Sri Lankan government under a loan scheme in 2013, where 14 helicopters had been procured. Two of them, the MI 171E, two SMH-4418 and SMH-4419 were used by the Special VIP Transport Squadron.

Repairs to such choppers require quality assurance certificate (mil bishin bureau) but this particular company does not have such a certificate, reports say. Earlier, it was reported that although the relevant quality assurance was required for the repair of such helicopters, but later removed that qualification and the SMH-4418 MI 171 E helicopter was handed over to the company for repair.

Generally, Russia or Ukraine bid for repairs of such helicopter at a cost of US$ 2.5-2.8 million.

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