The helicopters were built by Kazan Helicopter Plant , a Russian Helicopters company. The final delivery under the contract is scheduled for 2013.
The Mi-8/17 series of helicopters is one of the symbols of Russia’s aviation industry. The latest models combine advanced technologies with the years of operational experience accumulated by their predecessors.
These advanced helicopters, the best in their class, are equipped with the latest navigational and on-board systems, and maintain the high levels of reliability, simplicity and ease of operation that generations of operators have come to expect. They can fly a wide range of missions in conditions ranging from tropical and maritime climates to high altitude and desert environments.
The Mi-17B-5 has been built to the requirements of the Indian Ministry of Defence. It is one of the most advanced helicopters on the global marketplace, as well as in the Indian Armed Forces.
The helicopters are equipped with new VK-2500 engines that have an electronic control system and deliver enhanced power performance, which is particularly important in hot climates and at high altitudes. Should one engine fail, the reservepower provided by the second engine ensures safe operation through to landing. The on-board systems allow the helicopter to operate day and night in all weather conditions. A new navigation system has been developed for this version of theMi-17B-5 that shows all of the piloting and navigation information on four multifunctional display screens, significantly reducing the crew’s workload.
The medium multirole Mi-17 is the export version of the Mi-8.
India signed a 1.34-billion contract with Russia for supply of 80 Mi-17V5 helicopters in 2008. The first 21 choppers were delivered in 2011.
Mi-17B5, designed for cargo lift of about five tonnes or 36 personnel, has an advanced multi-function cockpit display and upgraded twin engines that produce 2,200 horse power each, providing it the capacity to be started after switching off even in areas of altitude over 6,000 metres or 21,000 feet.
These helicopters are meant to replace the aging Mi-8 and Mi-17 helicopters of the IAF.
The IAF is already planning for ordering another additional 59 of these at an estimated cost of$1 billion once the first 80 ordered are delivered by 2014.
Their versatility and high performance have made these helicopters some of the most popular Russian-built helicopters around the world. More than 12 thousand Mi-8/17s are in operation in more than 110 countries. Russian Helicopters builds advanced versions of the Mi-8/17 at Kazan Helicopter Plant and Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant.