MOSCOW: Russia has delivered the first batch of 80 Mi-17V-5 tactical transport helicopters to India under a 1.345 billion dollars deal in 2008, Russian ar sales agency Rosoboronexport said on Tuesday.
The helicopters are being built by Russian Helicopters’ Kazan Helicopter Factory (KVZ) subsidiary, RIA Novosti reported.
The Mi-17V-5 is designed for utility cargo work and can carry up to 36 passengers or four tons. The machine features advanced multifunction cockpit displays and upgraded TV3-117VM engines.
India is one of the world’s largest Mi-8 and Mi-17 operators with over 200 aircraft in service. The Mi-8/17 family is the most widely produced helicopter design in history, with over 11,000 delivered to more than 110 countries.
Airborne troops and Navy Special Forces have long used the Mi-17. Its modified version can land several crews at once via several onboard exit points.
The Mi-17 is the most recent upgrade for the Indian Air Force. The last helicopter deliveries occurred between 2000 and 2004. Indian Air Force has been using several types of Mi helicopters for the last forty years, including in operations in the 1999 Kargil War.
The new model will feature a number of technical features that will allow pilots to start engines at an altitude of up to 6,000 meters, in order to serve facilities located in the Himalayas. Each of the twin engines now has a capacity of 2,200 hp, a significant improvement over the original Mi-17s, which had twin engines of 1,950 hp each.