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
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