The Mil Mi-14 (NATO codename of "Haze") is a maritime conversion of the popular Soviet-era Mi-8 transport helicopter. It retains much of the form and function of its land-based predecessor but adds capabilities in the realm of submarine hunting, Search and Rescue and mine / mine-countermeasures. The Mi-14 has an inherent design quality about it to land and take-off from water sources and can be outfitted with torpedoes, depth charges, naval mines and conventional drop bombs - held in a watertight belly compartment. While only some 230 were originally built, the type continues in active service with several former Soviet allies. Production spanned 1969 until 1986 with the key operator becoming Soviet Naval Aviation.
The original Mi-8 was first-flown in prototype form on July 7th, 1961 and was introduced into service in 1967. It provided a natural successor to the aging line of Mi-4 helicopter which held origins back in the early 1950s. The Mi-8 went on to see a plethora of global operators adopt the type and these were flown in various roles while some 17,000 units have been produced from 1961 to today (2017).
From this proven framework was born the Mi-14 in a 1968 initiative and this gave rise to the "V-14" prototype designation. The twin-engine arrangement of the Mi-8 was retained and large sponsons were added to the four-point undercarriage for on-water landings and take-offs. The engines of choice became 2 x Klimov TV3-117MT turboshaft engines used to drive a five-bladed main rotor and three-bladed tail rotor (offset to starboard). In testing the prototype, the TV2-117 engine would be used instead. The crew would number four personnel.
A first-flight was recorded on August 1st, 1967 and production then ensued in 1973, this large gap brought about by issues with the engines and avionics fit. In service, the aircraft was designated "Mi-14" and known to NATO as "Haze". Service entry occurred in May of 1976 and the series was in active service up until 1996 when thawing relations between the United States and Russia ultimately forced their withdrawal.
While V-14 represented the prototype used in testing the series, Mi-14PL ("Haze-A") became the initial production form. This model was used in the Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) role and carried a towed Magnetic Anomaly Detector (MAD) as well as sonobouys and search radar. Armament was a torpedo, depth charges or bombs. Performance specs included a maximum speed of 230 kmh and a range (ferry) of 1,135 kilometers. Its service ceiling was listed at 3,500 meters.
This mark was followed by the improved Mi-14PLM with all-new radar fit, new ASW equipment and modern digital processing. The Mi-14BT ("Haze-B") was a mine-sweeping platform lacking the ASW functionality and about 30 were built to the standard. Several made their way to the Bulgarian and East German navies. Mi-14PS ("Haze-C") was a dedicated Search & Rescue model and outfitted with applicable equipment for the role.
The Mi-14PZh was a conversion of the Mi-14BT for fire-fighting duties. These were followed by the Mi-14PZh "Eliminator III" of same form and function. The Mi-14GP was a general purpose model for passenger hauling duties, seating some twenty-six in relative comfort. The Mi-14P was another civilian market model and this sat twenty-four.
The Poles were key recipients of the Mi-14 and knew it as the Mi-14PL/R. A pair of these flew in SAR guises (lacking ASW equipment). The Polish Navy used the related Mi-14PX in SAR training role.
Current (2017) operators of the Mi-14 Haze series include Georgia, Libya, North Korea, Pakistan, Poland, Republic of the Congo, Syria and Ukraine. There are calls by the modern Russian Navy to reactivate the series for frontline service due to deteriorating relations with the United States. These would be reinstated with the Black Sea and Northern fleets of the Navy, resuming their patrol roles.
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