New Delhi: India will induct its latest Mi-17
V5 armed helicopters from Russia that will greatly enhance its
capabilities to carry troops and cargo at higher altitudes.
Defence Minister A K Antony will hand over the symbolic
keys of the choppers to the IAF marking their formal
commissioning, IAF officials said.
India has placed orders for 80 such choppers from Russia
and the first batch was inducted in service in the last week
of September, 2011.
Over 20 such machines have already arrived and are
deployed at various locations in the Northern sector, they
"This helicopter falls in armed helicopter category, with
substantial and effective firepower with the latest and more
powerful engines that will greatly enhance its payload
carriage capability at higher altitudes," IAF spokesperson
The new choppers will augment IAF`s fleet of Mi-17 IV
"Mi-17 V5 is an upgrade of Mi-17 in the medium-lift
category and is equipped with state-of-the-art avionics and
on board Navigation Systems," he said.
Commenting on its capabilities, officials said, "It has on
board weather radar, state of the art autopilot and is
compatible with the latest Generation Night vision Goggles."
The Mi-17 variants have operated in various types of
terrain, including the Siachen Glacier, and have also proven
their mettle in UN missions.
India had signed an agreement with Russia to buy 80
helicopters for strengthening IAF`s helicopter fleet for high
altitude air maintenance operations, humanitarian assistance
and disaster relief mission, besides transport operations.