The government of Portugal will give their six Kamov Ka-32A helicopters to Ukraine to be used in Russia’s war, said Helena Carreiras, Portugal’s Minister of National Defence.
In 2006 the government spent €348 million to buy six Kamov Ka-32A helicopters which could transport personnel and drop water, but over the last 10 years have had difficulty keeping them airworthy. In January none of the six were operational. The Helicopter Investor reported that in April the Portuguese government expelled a team of Russian mechanics working on three of the Kamovs, and shut down the hangar in Ponte de Sor where the maintenance crew was working.
The sanctions imposed on Russia have made it impossible for Portugal to maintain the helicopters. At this time none of them hold airworthiness certificates, and one is inoperable due to a crash.
Carreiras said: “At the request of Ukraine and in conjunction with the Ministry of Internal Affairs, we will make available to Ukraine our fleet of Kamov helicopters which, due to the current scenario, the sanctions imposed on Russia, we are no longer able to operate.”
The condition of the helicopters is already known by the Ukrainians, and they will be “transferred as they are … as soon as possible”, said Carreiras.