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India to receive 150 Mi-17V-5 helicopters by year end

Mi-17V-5Russian helicopter-making holding company Russian Helicopters goes on with deliveries under the second huge contract for Mil Mi-17 family helicopters. It was signed on 24 December 2012, during Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to New Delhi, and covers the deliveries of 71 Mi-17V-5 helicopters, of which 59 are earmarked for the Indian Air Force and remaining 12 for the Ministry of the Interior (including six for the borderguards). The value of the deal was estimated at $1.3 billion. The machines are being manufactured by the Kazan Helicopters, a subsidiary of Russian Helicopters. The deliveries started in 2014, after previous 2008 contract for 80 Mi-17V-5s has been fulfilled.


The deliveries under the 2008 contract kicked off in autumn 2011, and the Mi-17V-5 entered service with IAF in a ceremony held on 17 February 2012 at Palam airbase, in New Delhi's suburbs. By then, as many as two dozen helicopters of the type had been delivered.

The Mi-17V-5s intended for India are manufactured in an improved version, with due account of extra customer requirements. They are powered by advanced Klimov VK-2500 turboshaft engines fitted with FADEC. The engines feature enhanced power, which is especially important on operations in the hot climate and mountainous terrain. The advanced navigation and electronic display suite, which includes four multifunction displays in the cockpit and had been tailored to the Indian version of the Mi-17V-5, enables the helicopter to operate round the clock under various weather conditions.

The Mi-8 and Mi-17 helicopters have long been in service with IAF and a number of other users in the country. The first Kazan Helicopters-built Mi-8Ts appeared in India more than three decades ago, having become very popular in the course of both routine operation and several armed conflicts. In 1986, India started taking delivery more advanced Mi-17 helicopters powered by TV3-117MT engines. 53 aircraft of the type were ordered at the time. In 2000, the Indian Ministry of Defence ordered another batch of 40 modified Mi-17-1Vs powered by TV3-117VM high-altitude engines.

According to the Flight International weekly, IAF had operated more than 220 Mi-8 and Mi-17 helicopters by late 2014. Russian Helicopters has already delivered 128 Mi-17V-5s and the rest 23 are to come to India by this year end.

(Photo: Simon Watson)

 
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