The world’s largest airlift helicopter MI-26T2 on 26 December arrived in Marka Military Airport to join the Royal Jordanian Air Force (RJAF) fleet. The second of four Mi-26T2 heavy-lift helicopters has been delivered to Jordan, with two more set to arrive before the end of 2019. Deliveries are to run from 2018 through to the end of 2019, with the platforms to be operated jointly between the military and civil services. Jordan ordered four of the current production-standard Mi-26T helicopters in September 2016, with two more under option. Deliveries are to run from 2018 through to the end of 2019, with the platforms to be operated jointly between the military and civil services.
The MI-26T is able to carry up to 82 passengers or 20,000 kilogrammes on an underneath sling cable or inside the cabin. This type helicopters are intensively used for all sorts of operations: transportation, evacuation, fire fighting etc. Normally it is manned by five or six crew members. The cruise speed of the helicopter is 255 kmh at which it can cross 1,920 km with auxiliary tanks up to an altitude of 15,100 feet. It is the most advanced version that should be able to fly any time under the most adverse weather conditions.
Mi-26T2 is an upgraded version of the helicopter, Mi-26T2 is fitted with a new BREO-26 avionics suite and glass cockpit with five multifunctional LCD displays, new digital autopilot, and NAVSTAR/GLONASS supported navigation system. The Mi-26T2’s array of on-board equipment ensures the helicopter can operate in any part of the world, and ensures it can perform flights to international standards. The latest avionics suite fitted also makes it possible to reduce the number of crew needed from 5 to 2 people, plus an operator should the external sling be in use. The Mi-26T2 is the latest version of the world’s largest helicopter, the only other operator being the Algerian Air Force.
More MI-26Ts will join RJAF fleet as part of a modernisation and development drive designed to keep pace with technological advancements in the military sector. The Mi-26Ts will join the RJAF’s current helicopter fleet of MD Helicopters Inc MD 500/530Fs; Bell AH-1F Cobras; Sikorsky UH-60L/M and S-70A Black Hawks; Airbus Helicopters EC 635T1s, AS 332s, and AS 350s; AgustaWestland AW139s; and Robinson R44s. While the first helicopter was shown at the SOFEX 2018 defence exhibition finished in the RJAF’s current multi-tonal camouflage colour scheme, this second aircraft has been delivered in a low-visibility grey and is devoid of national markings. It is unclear if the different schemes denote the different military or civil roles.