from Russia to enhance its operational capabilities including carrying
troops and cargo to high altitude areas.
commissioning of the choppers in the Indian Air Force (IAF), Defense
Minister A.K Antony symbolically handed over its keys to the Commanding
Officer of one of the units operating the machines.
Mi-17 helicopters will help in adding muscle to IAF’s capabilities to
carry out operations assigned to it”, the Defense Minister said while
addressing the gathering of
Senior IAF officials.
placed orders for 80 such choppers from Russia and the first batch
arrived in the country in the last week of September last year.
The first three units of the helicopters will be raised at Bhatinda (Punjab), Srinagar (J-K) and Bagdogra (West Bengal).
20 such flying machines have already arrived and are deployed at
various locations in the northern sector, Air Force officials said.
MI-17 V5 falls in armed helicopter category, with substantial and
effective firepower. It has the latest and more powerful engines that
will enhance its payload carrying capability at higher altitudes.
Mi-17 V5 is an upgrade of Mi-17 choppers in the medium-lift category
and is equipped with state-of-the-art avionics and on board navigation
systems,” IAF officials said.
On the machine’s capabilities, they
said, “It has on-board weather radar, state-of-the-art autopilot and is
compatible with the latest generation night vision goggles.”
Mi-17 variants have operated in various types of terrain, including
Siachen Glacier, and have also proven their mettle in UN missions.