The Ivory Coast has taken delivery of a second Mi-24 to replace those that crashed in 2019 and 2020.
The second aircraft (TU-VHT) was seen being loaded aboard an Ilyushin Il-76 transport aircraft in Bulgaria on 27 January ahead of delivery.
The first replacement aircraft was delivered on 7 August 2020 to coincide with the Ivory Coast’s 60th Independence Day. The aircraft arrived at Abidjan aboard a Ukrainian Air Force Il-76 transport aircraft, Scramble magazine reported.
President Alassane Ouattara said at the time it was the first of two Mi-24s being received, with the second due within three months’ time. Both helicopters are believed to be ex-Bulgarian Air Force examples.
The aircraft are to replace the two lost within the space of five months. On 27 November 2019, an Mi-24D (TU-VHR) was lost in a collision with an Mi-17 parked on the ground at Katiola during a visit by president Ouattara. The Mi-24D was written off while the Mi-17, belonging to the Presidential Flight, sustained repairable damage.
Then on 18 March 2020, another Mi-24D (TU-VHO) came down at Felix Houphouet Boigny airport in Abidjan. It is not clear what caused the crash, but the aircraft sustained moderate damage, coming to rest on its side. Both pilots received minor injuries and could escape the helicopter by themselves.
It is believed that the Ivory Coast only had two serviceable Mi-24s in service along with AW139 and AS365N helicopters. Transport aircraft in the fleet include An-26B, Beech 350, C295W, Airbus A319, Beech 1900D, Gulfstream III, IV and G550 aircraft.