India signs up for 48 more Mi-17s

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India signs up for 48 more Mi-17s
Rahul Bedi, New Delhi - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
20 July 2015


India is looking to buy 48 more Mi-17V-5 helicopters from Russia. Source: Russian Helicopters

The Indian Air Force (IAF) will buy 48 more Mil Mi-17V-5 'Hip' medium-lift helicopters to supplement the 139 it acquired from 2008 onwards, officials confirmed on 20 July.

The IAF spokesman told IHS Jane's that the IAF had moved a proposal to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to buy the additional Mi-17V-5s for around UDS1.1 billion.

Senior IAF officials do not anticipate delays in securing MoD approval for the twin-engine helicopters, as they are an add-on to an earlier purchase made via a government-to-government deal with Russia.

It is, however, unclear whether all or just some of the 48 Mi-17V-5s will be weaponised, as was the case with the majority of the earlier 139 platforms.

The IAF acquired 80 Mi-17V-5s in 2008 for USD1.34 billion and followed that purchase in December 2012 with an order for another 71 for USD1.53 billion. Twelve of the second batch were ordered for India's paramilitary forces.

Delivery of the Mi-17V-5s to the IAF - to replace ageing Mil Mi-8s and to augment the fleet of 90 Mi-17IVs acquired in the late 1990s - began in September 2011 and is likely to be completed by the end of 2015.

In 2014 six Mi-17V-5s were modified for the IAF's Communication Squadron to transport Indian VIPs such as the president and prime minister, after the MoD terminated the import of 12 AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters following corruption allegations.

No decision, however, has been taken on whether these six - or more-Mi-17V-5s - will be permanently seconded to transporting VIPs or whether the Special Protection Group, responsible for their security, will seek to replace them with other platforms.
India signs up for 48 more Mi-17s - IHS Jane's 360
 

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