SOFEX 2018: RJAF's Mi-26T2 heavy-lift helicopter makes first public appearance

At this year edition of the Special Operations Forces Exhibition and Conference (SOFEX), being held in Amman this week, the Royal Jordanian Air Force is showcasing for the first time the first Mi-26T2 heavy-lift helicopter it inducted in January 2018. 

SOFEX 2018 RJAF s Mi 26T2 heavy lift helicopter makesfirst public appearance 001
RJAF's first Mi-26T2 heavy-lift helicopter at SOFEX 2018

Jordan signed a contract for the purchase of four Mi-26T2 choppers on April 17, 2016. Flight tests of the first aircraft began in October 2017.

"The first of the four Mi-26T2 heavy lift helicopters ordered for the RJAF has arrived in Jordan," Brigadier General Odeh Shudaifat, a spokesperson for Jordanian military,said in january. He did not specify the terms of delivery of the remaining three helicopters.

The Mi-26T2 is the latest variant of the world's biggest rotary-wing airlifting platform, the Mi-26. According to the helicopter's manufacturer, the Russian Helicopters holding (a subsidiary of the Rostec state corporation), the Mi-26T2 features 'glass cockpit'. An improved version of the Mi-26T, it is equipped with BREO-26 airborne electronic system, allowing it to fly any time, day or night.

The increased level of automation has allowed reducing the platform's crew from five-six to three pilots (plus operator of the external sling system). The official portfolio of the Russian Helicopters says that the Mi-26T2 heavy transport helicopter has a maximum takeoff weight of 56,000 kg, a useful payload of 20,000 kg, a maximum speed of 270 km/h, a service ceiling of 4,600 m and a flight range of 800 km (with main fuel tanks).

The Mi-26T2 is intended for all sorts of operations: transportation, evacuation, fire fighting etc. Mi-26T2 is capable of carrying up to 82 full armed troopers or up to 20 tons of cargo inside the fuselage or on external sling.