PBS is not the exclusive supplier of APUs for Russian Mil helicopters

22. 11. 2023 

Media discussions have appeared concerning the alleged re-export of PBS Velka Bites products (known as APUs) to the Russian Federation. These discussions have included deliberately false information, suggesting the irreplaceability of units from the Czech company PBS Velka Bites for Mil helicopters. Here, we present factual responses to clearly refute the alleged findings.

The manufacturer of the Russian helicopters of the Mi-8/17/171 series does not require auxiliary power units (APUs) from the production of PBS Velka Bites at all, because Russia has its own producer, Aerosila. This manufacturing company has a longstanding tradition of producing their own APUs for helicopters, specifically designed for the TA14 type. The reason why article’s author presents completely opposite claims is unclear to us.

Russian APUs have consistently been available on the market for an extended period, while efforts to prevent the export of Czech APUs, for instance to India or Vietnam, are evident through this media attack. Media reports have been highlighting the potential shift of India and Vietnam away from Russian technology for a year now.

Russian websites also provide information about the use of the specific APU type TA14 from the manufacturer Aerosila. Therefore, we present several examples with references and translated passages confirming the domestic Russian production of APUs for Mil helicopters.

Web Ato.ru
“At its booth, Aerosila also showcases a range of basic gas turbines of the new generation in three standard sizes, in demand in helicopter construction as auxiliary power units – TA14, TA18-100, and TA18-200. Modifications of the TA14 engines are installed in medium helicopters such as Ka-31, Ka-52, Mi-8/17, Mi-38, and other models. Efforts are ongoing to incorporate the TA18-100 engine on board the Mi-26T2 helicopter.”

Web Aex.ru
“In the late 90s, the TA-14 engine was developed (certified in 2001) as a basic 1st size engine for civilian use. Based on it, the TA14-130 VGTE engine was developed, which successfully passed the state bench tests and was accepted by the Russian Air Force. Modifications of this engine are used in aircraft such as Yak-130, Il-112/114, Su-34, Su-35, An-140, and helicopters such as Mi-8AMTSh-VN, Mi-171, Mi-28NM, Ka-52, Ka-31.”

Web Scbist.com
"Aerosila Research and Production Enterprise (Aerosila) has initiated deliveries of gas turbine auxiliary power units (APUs) for the upgraded Mi-8AMTSh helicopters to their manufacturer, as reported by a knowledgeable source in the aviation construction sector to AviaPort.
According to the source, the deliveries are being carried out in accordance with the contract for the period 2013-2015. Under this agreement, Aerosila supplied two series of TA14-130-08 VSU aircraft in 2013. The main deliveries of VSUs for the upgraded Mi-8AMTSh are planned for the years 2014-2015.
The use of VSU on Mi-8AMTSh is approved by the relevant protocol and does not require state testing. The TA14-130-08 VSU itself is standard for Mi-8 helicopters, and the upgraded Mi-8AMTSh will be equipped with a modified VSU for this modification."