New Delhi: The Home Ministry has decided to
buy six Mi-17V-5 helicopters from Russia to assist its forces
engaged in internal security duties, including anti-Naxal
The decision came days after the Ministry`s entire fleet
of indigenous Dhruv helicopters was grounded following a
series of mishaps.
The Mi-17V-5 is designed for utility cargo work and can
carry up to 36 passengers or four tons of weight. The machine
features advanced multifunction cockpit displays and upgraded
The helicopters are being built by Russian Helicopters`
Kazan Helicopter Factory (KVZ) subsidiary.
"The Home Ministry has asked the Defence Ministry to help
it out in buying the choppers," an official said.
The MoD is negotiating purchase of 59 Mi-17s after its
first order of 80 such helicopters to the Russian company.
"The MoD has been asked to buy six helicopters in
addition to their actual requirement. The MHA will use the six
helicopters," the official said.
On Tuesday, Chidambaram had said that he had authorised
wet leasing of some helicopters and was also looking for
buying some more choppers for use by the security forces.
"...I think unless we find a replacement for the Dhruv
helicopters, we would have to do with the Mi helicopters (of
Indian Air Force)," he had said.
The Border Security Force maintains the fleet of Dhruv
helicopters. Before the crashes near Ranchi and Raipur, it had