The Peruvian Air Force command, to say the least, is dissatisfied with the results of cooperation with the Russian Helicopters holding. Just recently, the official Lima resumed negotiations on the possible purchase of the H145M universal tactical helicopter manufactured by Airbus Defense and Space. This is despite the fact that six months ago Peru opened its own service center for the repair and maintenance of Russian helicopters.
The service center was opened in July 2021 in La Jolla district. The center had been built with the participation of the Russian Helicopters holding within the framework of an offset agreement for the supply of 24 Russian Mi-171Sh-P helicopters signed in December 2013. Initially, the launch of the service center was planned for 2018, but, ultimately, the project was delayed for an additional four years.
The enthusiasm and admiration in the Russian media associated with the opening of the “largest service center in Latin America” quickly faded amid a series of accidents with Russian helicopters around the world. It is all related to the crash of a military helicopter Mi-17 in Azerbaijan on November 30, 2021, in which 14 people died, as well as to the Mi-17V-5 crash on December 8, 2021 in India, where 14 people were also killed, including the Chief of Defense Staff of the Indian army Bipin Rawat.
Furthermore, on December 7, 2021, in Peru itself, a Mi-171Sh military transport helicopter, en route from Lima to Junin, disappeared during a humanitarian operation. The helicopter took off from Jorge Chavez International Airport at 11:52 am, local time, and at 12:49 the connection with the crew was eventually lost. Later it became known that at least five Peruvian soldiers died in the result of this crash.
The Peruvian Air Force command has conducted an investigation to find out the causes of the disaster, the materials of which have not yet been made public. Although, it is likely that the Peruvian authorities have something to call to account their Russian partners. Especially considering that the official Lima is trying to drastically change the vector of armaments cooperation.
The European concern Airbus Helicopters has been wheedling the Peruvian Air Force command since 2019. However, at present time, it is known for sure that negotiations between the Peruvian military forces and representatives of Airbus Helicopters intensified precisely due to the latest tragic events.
It should be noted, though, that Peru’s military budget has been undergoing significant cuts for the fourth consecutive year since 2018. As the opposition in the Peruvian army notes, the current government (the extreme left) shows an absolute lack of understanding of the true role of the armed forces and views the army solely as a police apparatus meant to maintain order within the country, including the suppression of the possible socio-economic protests. The country is literally on the verge of serious economic and political turmoil. Yet this is a topic for a separate article.
Recommended to read: “Russian helicopters as a method of sky burial”.