Russian Helicopters has built the 3,500th export version of the legendary Mil Mi-17 at the Kazan Helicopters plant. The helicopter will be delivered to the Indian Armed Forces as part of a contract signed by state export company Rosoboronexport in 2012.
The Indian Armed Forces ordered 80 Mi-17V-5 tactical helicopters in 2008, plus another 71 in 2012 and 2013. In total more than 250 helicopters built in Russia serve in India. Russian Helicopters CEO Alexander Mikheev: “They are used for flight training, personnel-carrying, search-and-rescue and medevac missions, and providing assistance in emergencies.”
In summer 2013 Russian-built military transport helicopters were involved in evacuating people after torrential rains caused severe flooding in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand. In February this year Mi-17V-5 helicopters evacuated about 200 residents of villages in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir in the Himalayas after they became cut off fr om the rest of the region following cold weather and heavy snowfall.
The Mi-17V-5s being delivered to India are part of the legendary Mi-8/17 series, and are built on the construction solutions of previous generations of the series. All of the helicopters are fitted with a KNEI-8 avionics suite and a new PKV-8 autopilot. The helicopters being supplied to India are fitted with more powerful engines, expanding their capabilities for transporting heavy and bulky loads, particularly in the high mountain terrain characteristic of northern India.
Soviet- and Russian-built helicopters have operated successfully in India for more than half a century. The first Mi-4s were delivered in January 1961. In the decades since, Mi-26s, Mi-24/35s, Mi-8/17s have all been supplied to India.
Source: Russian Helicopters / Вертолеты России
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