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Russian Army Forms Helicopter Squadrons for  Special Forces

Special helicopter squadrons will be activated in each of the military districts to infiltrate and ex-filtrate commandos and provide close air support for them, according to the Izvestia daily newspaper.

The crews of the new units will be trained to fly low and attack the enemy while remaining invisible to him.

The helicopter units intended to operate in support of the Army Special Forces (Spetsnaz) are being activated on the basis of the regimental and brigade Mi-8AMTSh (NATO reporting name: Hip) and Mi-8MTV-5 troop carrier squadrons. Unlike the line unit crews, the crews with the Spetsnaz squadrons will be given in-depth training to fly in foul weather and in terrain-following mode at night, hugging the ground to dodge the unwelcome attention of the enemy.

The pilots will also receive profound training in using the weapons, including guided missiles and unguided rockets, under degraded visibility conditions in addition to the troop landing skills.

The crews of the Mil Mi-26 (Halo) heavy-lift helicopters will be trained in landing Spetsnaz troopers too. Mi-26 squadron will not be separated for the special operators. But several of the Mi-26 crews with the Army Aviation regiments and brigades will receive special training.

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