Caught on our Shooting Range is Mi-171E recently delivered by the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant to the Kazakhstan Ministry of Internal Affairs. The Ministry uses Mi-8/17s for routine patrolling and search-and-rescue missions, and for transporting personnel and cargo. Although we normally publish stuff from our own editors in this section, the autumn colours on this machine are so cool, that we couldn't resist. The chopper will have to operate in all kinds of terrain, from plus 50 to minus 60 degrees Celsius. (Image © Russian Helicopters)

Nepalese Army buys 2 Mi-17s

Archive photo of a Mil Mi-17 (Hip) (Image © Russian Helicopters)
Archive photo of a Mil Mi-17 (Hip) (Image © Russian Helicopters)

The Nepalese Army buys 2 additional Mi-17V5 tactical transport helicopters from the Russian state-owned arms export company Rosoboronexport, a spokesperson of the armed forces of the small Asian state said to the Himalayan Times.

The deal is said to have been concluded on 19 December 2013 and had been approved by the Nepalese parliament in advance. The armed forces of Nepal already operate three Mi-17s (one of them has reg. nr. NA-038). The new helicopters will like be painted in a overall standard single dark green colour.

From its sole airbase in Kathmandu the Nepal Army Air Wing flies a very mixed fleet of mainly helicopters including a Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) license-built SA316B Chetaka (Alouette III with registration NA-029), a Aérospatiale SA330J Puma (reg. NA-028), a Aérospatiale AS332 Super Puma (VIP) and reportedly also a pair of HAL Dhruv.

Two PZL M28 Skytruck (NA-041 and NA-048) light transport aircraft are the main fixed wing assets of the Nepalese armed forces, with the current status of the two Britten-Norman BN-2 Islanders in Nepalese service unknown. The largest airplane in the inventory is a still airworthy Hawker Siddeley HS748 (NA-020).

Officially Nepalese military aircraft have between 30 and 36 airstrips throughout the country available for operations, but none of them has aircraft permanently assigned to them.

Source: Himalayan Times with additional reporting by AIRheads’ Marcel Burger