13-Mar-2014 Source: Russian Helicopters
Russian Helicopters, a subsidiary of Oboronprom, part of State Corporation Rostec, has built the 3,500th export version of the Mi-17 at Kazan Helicopters. The helicopter will be delivered to the Indian Armed Forces as part of a contract signed by Rosoboronexport in 2012.
A contract for 80 military transport Mi-17V-5 helicopters was signed by Rosoboronexport in 2008, and all obligations have been met by the Russian side. In 2012 – 2013 India ordered a further 71 helicopters, which are currently being built by Russian Helicopters to the agreed schedule.
“South and South-East Asia are a core region for promoting Russian manufacturing. Our helicopters are well-known here and demand has remained constant,” Russian Helicopters CEO Alexander Mikheev said. “Today more than 250 helicopters built at our facilities are operational in India. They are used for flight training, personnel-carrying, search-and-rescue and medevac missions, and providing assistance in emergencies. Thanks to their unique abilities they can operate in even the most adverse weather conditions, and complete their missions with distinction.”
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, which helps reduce pilot workload and provides comprehensive information to enable pilots to complete complex missions. In addition, the helicopters being supplied to India are fitted with modern powerful engines, significantly 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.
Russian Helicopters attaches particular importance to providing after-sales maintenance services in regions where it supplies helicopters. The parties are currently collaborating on the development of an offset programme aimed at expanding India’s capabilities to provide maintenance services for Russian helicopters.
Russian Helicopters is also interested in developing the Indian market for commercial helicopters. Today development work is ongoing on the new multirole Mi-171A2, which could potentially expand the fleet of Russian-built helicopters in India. The new helicopter is the latest addition to the Mi-8/17 series and over time will replace its predecessors from this illustrious series. The Mi-171A2 has been designed using the latest materials and aerospace technologies, and will come with an upgraded power plant, new rotor system and modern avionics suite.
Russian Helicopters is currently participating in India Aviation 2014, wh ere it is showcasing its current and forthcoming models to operators from South and South-East Asia. India Aviation 2014 is taking place at the exhibition centre of Begumpet airport in Hyderabad, and the company’s stand can be found in Sector B at stand 42.