Warplanes: Burma Delight


September 23, 2010:  Myanmar (Burma) has bought fifty Mi-24 helicopter gunships and twelve Mi-2 transports from Russia. The Mi-24 is a twelve ton helicopter gunship that also has a cargo area that can hold up to eight people, or four stretchers. The Mi-24 can carry rockets, missiles bombs and automatic cannon. It is used by over thirty countries, and has a pretty good reputation for reliability. The design is based on the earlier Mi-8 transport helicopter.

The 3.5 ton Mi-2 helicopter is a 1960s design that is now only produced in Poland. It can carry eight passengers (and the one pilot) or 700 kg (1,500 pounds) of cargo.

Russia is introducing a replacement for both the Mi-24 and the Mi-2, but both of these helicopters are so reliable, useful and cheap, that the replacements are having a hard time gaining a toehold in the market. Myanmar wants the additional helicopters for use against tribal rebels in the northern hills and forests. Myanmar already has dozens of Mi-24s and Mi-2s.



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