Turkish, Ukrainian companies team up for Mi-8 helicopter upgrades


Turkey’s defense company has signed a deal with two Ukrainian businesses to share upgrade work for Mi-8 helicopters.

Military electronics specialist Aselsan will work with Ukraine’s Motor Sich and Defense Technology LLC to perform electro-optical and missile upgrades on the Mi-8s. The deal was signed during Saha Expo, a defense and aerospace event held in Istanbul from Nov. 10 to 13, Defense News reports.

Under the plan, Aselsan will outfit the Mi-8s with either its Common Aperture Targeting System or its F-500C electro-optical system, enabling the aircraft to have laser targeting capabilities. It will also install either L-UMTAS or Cirit missile systems on the helicopters.

Aselsan CATS

“The deal will involve all Mi-8s in the inventory of several militaries,” an Aselsan official said.

This is the second helicopter modernization effort bringing together Turkish and Ukrainian companies. In August, Turkish Aeronautical Association and Ukraine’s Ukrspetsexport formed a partnership to provide repair and maintenance services of Russian-made Mi-17 helicopters. As part of the contract, the partners will initially provide depot-level maintenance and repair services for the 18 Mi-17 helicopters currently in use by Turkey’s Gendarmerie force.