Armenia Acquires Russian Helicopters as Part of Armed Forces Modernization

Russian Air Force Mi-8MTV-5.

Russian Air Force Mi-8MTV-5.

“The air force received the four Mi-8MTV-5 helicopters in an assault configuration…”

A few months after the end of the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War, which resulted in significant Armenian losses, the Armenian government announced it would modernize the country’s armed forces.  At the August 2021 Russian-sponsored International Military-Technical Forum “Army-2021” in Moscow, Armenian Defense Minister Arshak Karapetyan stated that he was looking to acquire modern weapons and equipment from Russia and noted a need for unmanned aerial systems (UAS).  While Karapetyan did not announce any acquisitions made during the forum, the accompanying excerpted article reports on the recent delivery of Russian helicopters to Armenia and provides a look at one area where Armenian officials are modernizing the country’s armed forces.

The article from independent Russian-language news website Eurasia Daily reports that the Armenian Air Force received four Mi-8MTV-5 helicopters in January.  The article notes this variant of the Mi-8 helicopter can conduct a variety of tasks and referenced Karapetyan’s statement from last year.  The Armenian Air Force reportedly has 11 Mi-8MTVs already in service, though they are older variants and less versatile than the Mi-8MTV-5.  Overall, the helicopters are not as significant as the Armenian acquisitions of the Iskander ballistic missile system or the Su-30SM multirole fighters before the 2020 war; however, the helicopters mark an acquisition that took place during the modernization of the Armenian Armed Forces and will play a role in this.  It also illustrates how Russia continues to be one of the main providers of military equipment for Armenia.


“Армянская армия пополнилась боевыми вертолëтами (The Armenian army is being reinforced with combat helicopters),” Eurasia Daily (independent Russian-language news website), 25 January 2022.

The Armenian Air Force received new multipurpose helicopters on 25 January, reports the press service of the Ministry of Defense of Armenia…

It is noted that the helicopters that entered service are designed to perform landing, fire support, transport, and medical tasks… The air force the received four Mi-8MTV-5 helicopters in an assault configuration…

Armenia will take practical steps to increase military-technical cooperation with Russia, then Defense Minister Arshak Karapetyan said in an interview on 24 August 2021. Yerevan, as part of an ongoing modernization of the Armenian Army after the war in Karabakh, plans to purchase only modern weapons, Karapetyan said…

Image Information:

Image: Russian Air Force Mi-8MTV-5.
Attribution: CC BY 3.0