"Ukraine has strengthened its positions and expanded possibilities for repairing military equipment of Soviet production on the markets of third countries", – this is how representatives of the State Firm “Ukrinmash” commented on the opening of a new service center in the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, which took place on 25 January 2017. This service center was created at the request of the Bangladesh Air Force Command, whose pilots actively use Mi-8/Mi-1 helicopters for military and peacekeeping operations.
Official Ukrainian delegation consisting of representatives of the State Concern “Ukroboronprom”, State Firm “Ukrinmash” and management of the aircraft repair factory “Aviakon” attended the opening. Specialists of “Aviakon” provide overhaul, refurbishment and modernization of Mi family of helicopters of all types and modifications in the interests of Ukrainian Armed Forces and foreign customers.
In 2013-2014 “Aviakon” performed repair of Bangladesh helicopters, during which Bangladesh specialists visited the factory and had an opportunity to gain firsthand experience of repairing units and aggregates of the aviation equipment. Opening of the service center gives an opportunity to conduct routine repair, as well as deep refurbishment and modernization of fuselage of Mi-8/Mi-1 helicopters on the customer’s territory, which was what Bangladesh Air Force Command wished. A group of technical specialists from “Aviakon” will work in the center on a permanent basis.
"Opening of the service center is a recognition of a quality of services, provided by Ukraine to its partners in repair of the military equipment of Soviet production. At Soviet times “Aviakon” enterprise, located in Konotop, had been created purposefully for repair and then modernization of helicopters of types Mi-24, Mi-8 and other export modifications. Our factory has all capabilities, equipment, documentation and qualified personnel to perform repair and provide complex maintenance of helicopters, as well as train foreign specialists,” – emphasized Ihor Marchenko, Director of “Aviakon”.
In this context it should be mentioned that Russian companies, supplying Bangladesh with new military equipment, have equal opportunity to participate in tenders for repair services of aviation equipment. However, Bangladesh customers usually give preference to Ukrainian offers as more cost-effective.
However, Russia is taking steps to exclude Ukrainian companies out from international markets, where interests of Ukraine and Russia overlap in competition for the contracts for repair and modernization of Soviet-era machinery. "The Russian side has recently been resorting to tactics of, for instance, bombarding potential customers with letters demanding to exclude Ukrainian enterprises from tenders. Allegedly, only Russia has the right to repair or modernize the Soviet equipment. And some countries yield to such blackmail. And this causes damage to our economic interests. Repair of aviation equipment – both helicopters and aircrafts – constitutes a significant part of income for Ukraine. That is why Ukraine should apply a consolidated approach, using diplomatic, military and trade missions, in communication with our international partners, in order to prove that such Russian actions and demands are unjustified,” – emphasized Sergii Sliusarenko, CEO of “Ukrinmash”.