The backbone of Russia’s ASW (anti-submarine warfare) forces comprises the ship-based helicopters Ka-27, amphibious aircraft Be-12 “Chaika”, anti-submarine IL-38 and the long-range anti-submarine aircraft Tu-142. Of these, only the last two aircrafts have been upgraded (or are being upgraded) in accordance with modern requirements.
Naval aviation experts see the return of the amphibious helicopter Mi-14 as one of the options to strengthen the capacity of the country’s naval aviation. The Mi-14 used to be a reliable barrier against NATO submarines in the territorial waters of the Soviet Union with the ability to stay in the air for 5.5 hours and patrol the coastal waters up to a distance of 300 km. It would be armed with organic weapons consisting of a 1-kt nuclear depth bomb, or a homing anti-submarine torpedo, or eight bombs weighing 250 kg, reinforced in the course of modernization in the early 80s with ability to carry “air-to-ship” missiles, all of which made this helicopter a formidable weapon.
A total of 273 units of the Mi-14 made for the Soviet Navy in three versions; anti-submarine, rescue and minesweeper; were gradually retired from the Russian Navy.
In an interview to “Business Online,” Yevgeny Matveyev, Senior Researcher at Zhukovsky Academy, confirmed that the Ministry of Defence has allocated funds for the restoration of 10 Mi-14s. According to him, the three-stage restoration programme is underway for the return of these amphibious aircraft to the fleet; repair of machines in storage, modernization of the restored machinery and the re-launch of production.