Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant Helicopter factory

The history of Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant dates back to 1939. In its early years operations were devoted to repairing aircraft (I-16 and SB aeroplanes). In 1941, however, the plant began producing the fuselage and fins of the Pe-2 plane.

A new stage was the independent production of La-5 and La-7 fighters, which were developed by the Lavochkin design bureau and used by the Soviet Air Force during the Second World War. After the war, the plant began producing La-9 and La-9UTI fighters.

With the adoption of jet engines in Soviet aircraft, Lavochkin’s piston fighters were replaced by the MiG-15UTI jet trainer. For many years this model was used extensively by the air forces of the Soviet Union and other countries.

In 1956, the era of helicopter manufacturing began at the plant. Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant produced coaxial helicopters developed by the Kamov design bureau, making a variety of models of the Ka-15 and Ka-18 light helicopters, as well as the ship-based Ka-25 helicopters.

In the first half of the 1960s the plant produced Yak-25 spy planes developed by the Yakovlev design bureau.

In 1963, the plant began production of An-24 passenger aircraft, for many years the standard regional civil aircraft used in the Soviet Union.

Beginning in 1970, production of the Mi-8 helicopter, the largest mass produced model in the world, formed a big chapter in the history of the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant. Different models of this helicopter were manufactured and shipped around the world. In total, Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant produced more than 4,000 Mi-8 helicopters.

The facility significantly improved the technology behind Mi-8 production. Its experience in producing aeroplane technology allowed the plant to provide Mi-8 helicopters with aeroplane quality and reliability, which became their main feature.

In 1977, production of the supersonic MiG-27M fighter-bombers began. Production was distinguished by a high degree of technological complexity with variable wing geometry. The MiG-27M became a powerful force in several countries, and India was granted a licence to produce them.

The 1980s were marked by the beginning of cooperation between the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant and the Sukhoi design bureau. The plant launched production of the Su-25UB plane, which continues to be used by the armed forces of Russia and a number of foreign countries.

State tests of the Su-25UBM (an upgraded Su-25UB) are currently in progress. Upon completion of testing, Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant will begin producing the planes.

An important step in the plant’s more recent history was the development of Mi-171 (Mi-8AMT on the domestic market) helicopter production in the early 1990s. The Mi-171 is a complete upgrade of the earlier Mi-8 helicopter. The Mi-171 helicopter is currently one of the most extensively used medium/heavy-lift helicopters.

In the late 1990s the Mi-171Sh (Mi-8AMTSh on the domestic market) military transport helicopter was introduced. After passing a series of tests, initial deliveries began in 2002. Before long the helicopter was put into service by a number of countries in South-East Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, Latin America, eastern Europe (including NATO) and the CIS.

Another important stage in the plant’s recent history was the beginning of Su-39 attack aircraft production. This aircraft is a complete upgrade of the early Su-25 model.

In 2005, the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant began producing Mi-171A1 utility helicopters, which were certified by Brazil’s aviation authorities under requirements that comply with FAR-29 aviation regulations.

In 2011, Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant began producing the first pilot Mi-171A2 helicopters, which are intended to replace the Mi-8/171 family of helicopters.