Russia to start delivery of Mi-17s from March ‘11
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Last Updated: Wednesday, December 15, 2010, 15:15
Moscow: Russia will start delivering the first batch of Mi-17V-5 helicopters to India from March next year and the new choppers are specially designed to be used as gunships in high altitude areas.

The new helicopters will be from the new 80 choppers ordered by India in a deal worth more than 1.3 billion dollars, Itar-Tass reported quoting officials of the Kazan manufacturers.

The fresh deliveries which are to be completed by 2015 will boost the IAF's medium haul helicopter strength from the present 52 to 132.

The Russian officials said the helicopters are equipped with new flight and navigation system. New Delhi plans to use these helicopters for special transport operations like air lifting troops and equipments, search and rescue operations, casualties evacuations and as helicopter gunships.

With the sale of helicopters the Russian agency said the country's arms exports would reach a staggering USD 10 billion, second only to the US.

"Exports of military weapons will be to more than 60 countries and will reach USD 10 billion in 2010", Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said at a ceremony here. Russia military exports stood at USD 8.8 billion in 2009.

The Russian Deputy Prime Minister said that arms exports were likely to be growing in the next few years. He said Russian defence scientists were working to catch up in areas like strategic materials, micro electronics, nano and computer technologies.


First Published: Wednesday, December 15, 2010, 15:15

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