Saturday, December 16

Russian Choppers to The Rescue!

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The United Nations run peacekeeping missions all around the world in areas where there are disturbances and civil strife. Some areas require more help, more troops, more equipment and more attention because these are regions with more problems and their problems may be really intense which really requires external intervention.

The Peacekeeping forces of the United Nations are troops from the member states of the United Nations who keep peace under the United Nations banner. These soldiers who are from various national armies are also called “peacekeepers”.

Image via Wikipedia

Image via Wikipedia

Image via Wikipedia

Peacekeeping troops maybe from all around the world. They are sent by their national governments to the United Nations so that they will be able to maintain peace in regions.

They are not an invading force. They are there with the consent of the national government and are morally obliged to uphold all rights.

These peacekeepers by no way are allowed to engage with any group. They cannot go on the offensive. Their role is strictly defensive and their use of weapons is only to protect those who have been put under their care and uphold their rights.

Image via Wikipedia

Even though they are a defensive force, they do require weapons and equipment. Though most of their weapons will be provided by their respective national governments, their logistics still remain a big question which is debated by the United Nations. The United Nations always has to rely on donations from member nations in order to sustain its operations and as more and more countries stop or cap their voluntary funding, the budgets for peacekeeping missions also reduce and the peacekeeping missions lose their purpose.

One particular issue the Peacekeepers face is the shortage, or rather dire shortage of helicopters for their operations. They are not talking about military attack helicopters, but transport and cargo helicopters which can be used for a lot of humanitarian missions.

Image via Wikipedia

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the peacekeepers complain how tough it has become to conduct their peacekeeping operations due to the lack of helicopters. They need these helicopters for a variety of tasks. It may be transporting troops from one place to another, transporting injured troops and civilians to medical facilities, transporting essential aid for the people, patrolling and many such tasks. The UN peacekeepers in the DRC have been around for quite a lot of time, years, to be precise. They complain that the number of choppers have been reducing by the year and it has become really hard to conduct crucial parts of the operation, especially the transportation of personnel and goods in the DRC.

This very complaint is echoed throughout many peacekeeping missions that are being conducted by the UN all around the world. They are losing their equipment and are badly in need for new ones.

Image via Wikipedia

A solution, a probable one, could be Russian choppers, especially the Mi-8 and Mi-17.

Let us take an example. In Afghanistan, the coalition troops are busy building a strong Afghanistan armed forces. The coalition has picked Russian helicopters like the Mi-8 and the Mi-17 to serve in Afghanistan. The coalition could have put American made choppers in the Afghan Armed Forces, but the coalition did not do that because of a few reasons. They include:

1. Russian choppers are easily maneuverable.
2. Russian choppers are cheap
3. Russian choppers are strong and sturdy
4. Russian choppers have the ability to withstand tough terrain
5. Russian choppers are capable of carrying heavy loads
6. Russian choppers are fast.


As an addition, Russian choppers such as the Mi-8 and the Mi-17, which are basically transport helicopters by nature, can be modified to hold weapons and can be turned into helicopter gun-ships. They can then serve a combat role then.

Peacekeeping missions require helicopters which are fast and can carry heavy loads and can survive tough terrain. Thus what can be done, is that Russian choppers be inducted into the peacekeeping operations that are being conducted all around the world. The peacekeepers require cargo choppers. There is no need to modify them to be attack choppers or anything of that sort. They can even be used directly when they come off the assembly line!

So what needs to be done now, is to immediately help induct the choppers into peacekeeping missions. Instead of relying on member nations to contribute helicopters to the peacekeeping missions, it makes sense that the United Nations purchase their own helicopters. Member Nations themselves maybe facing a helicopter shortage. So what needs to be done, is that member nations contribute a little more to the existing UN peacekeeping missions fund and they can order new Russian helicopters thereby providing more equipment for the peacekeeping missions and also relieving countries from donating their choppers in order to sustain peacekeeping operations.

Russian choppers to the rescue!

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