Slovakia’s LOTN (Letecké opravovne Trenčín, Aircraft Repair Company Trenčín) completed the general overhaul of the first Afghan Air Force (AAF) Mi-17V-5 helicopter.
The helicopter was then picked up and flown from M. R. Štefánik Airport, Bratislava back to Afghanistan on Saturday (28 July). LOTN, a.s. was awarded the Afghan Air Force Mi-17V-5 Helicopter Overhaul and Heavy Repair Contract by the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) through full and open international competitive bidding (ICB) in 2016.
As Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director General of LOTN, a.s. Martin Dušanič said, this was the first ever overhaul of the Mi-17V-5 rotary wing platform across the EU and NATO. “Therefore, I want to sincerely praise the precise and expert work done by the LOTN staff. The outcome of their work testifies to the fact that in its area of specialization our company has an irreplaceable place in the market and that we are capable of succeeding amidst international competition,” emphasised Dušanič.
“This is one of the largest contracts in the history of our Aircraft repair company Trencin (LOTN, a.s.). But the success is not only the fact that we have managed to compete with the world’s top companies, but also that we will provide work for the people in the Trenčín region for a several upcoming years” said the Defense Minister Mr. Peter Gajdoš on the initial contract award.
The AN-124 cargo aircraft landed at M.R. Štefánik Airport in Bratislava on November 3, 2016 and brought the first batch of Mi-17 helicopters from Afghanistan. Following the general overhaul, the helicopter made its first test flight in Slovakia as part of Stage 1 of the handover process. Stage 2 of the process was completed in Afghanistan.
Aircraft Repair Company Trenčín (LOTN, a.s.) will continue delivering on the contract, the performance of which is regularly inspected by the NSPA agency. Further deliveries of the overhauled helicopters of this type to Afghanistan are scheduled for next year.