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Brazil decommissions its Mi-35M combat helicopters

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Brazilian Air Force (FAB) will retire its Russian-made Mi-35M attack helicopters, designated AH-2 Sabre, operated by the 2nd 8th CLA, Poti Squadron, on March 1, 2022, according to a bulletin published by the Air Command.

Currently based at Porto Velho Air Base (BAPV) in Rondônia state, the aircraft is an important military asset on the Amazon border. However, it is assumed that the helicopters will no longer be deployed, and the Poti Squadron (2nd/8th CLA) will have to cease its activities.

Brazil decommissions its Mi-35M combat helicopters. (Photo internet reproduction)
Brazil decommissions its Mi-35M combat helicopters. (Photo internet reproduction)


The ceremony to incorporate the Mi-35M helicopters into the FAB took place on April 17, 2010, at Porto Velho Air Base. The troubled history of this type, acquired in a government-to-government purchase that the Air Force did not want, lasted only 12 years.

This period of AH-2 Sabre service in Brazil was marked by disputes with the manufacturer, a lengthy and complex NATO/NATO MIL-SPEC cataloging process, the frequent unavailability of the aircraft due to maintenance failures, and the establishment of a maintenance line for the type in the final phase of service, which involved moving the helicopter from Porto Velho to Belo Horizonte, 3,041.7 km away in the state of Minas Gerais, for maintenance at IAS.

All these recurring problems, as well as the fact that the Air Force decided to focus its resources on the technological triad of F-39 Gripen, KC-390, and modernized Echo-99, led to the decision to immediately deactivate these helicopters based on a study called DCA 400-100 Deactivation of Brazilian Air Force AH-2 aircraft.

Despite rumors of possible U.S. interference/pressure, the fact is that the FAB operated with a helicopter it had not requested and used it as a short-range interceptor despite its armament with Attaka anti-tank missiles, 57-mm rockets, and twin 23-mm cannons.

With information from Infodefensa

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