Russian Helicopters has delivered Mi-171Sh helicopters to the Kazakhstan Border Service under a contract signed by Rosoboronexport in 2012. One of the helicopters' main tasks will be securing Kazakhstan's state border. They will be used for routine patrols (including at night-time), and to land special forces troops to detain illegal border-crossers, and to return the troops to base.
The military transport Mi-171Sh (known as the Mi-8AMTSh on the Russian domestic market) is produced by Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant, a Russian Helicopters company. It can be fitted with cannons and small arms, unguided missiles, and on-board defence systems. It also comes with troop-landing equipment, giving it the capacity to land four troops simultaneously.
The helicopter can carry up to 36 airborne troops or as many as 12 on stretchers, or cargo of up to 4 tons inside the cabin or on an external sling. The helicopter is ideally suited to search-and-rescue operations. The Mi-171Sh helicopters delivered to Kazakhstan are fitted with piloting and navigational systems and radio communications equipment to support operations in a wide range of conditions.
Kazakhstan has been successfully operating new Mi-8/17 class helicopters for many years. Commercial Mi-171Es operate with Kazaviaspas, part of the Emergencies Ministry, and in August 2013 a new Mi-171E was transferred to the Interior Ministry. The new Mi-171Sh helicopters represent a continuation of this collaboration that began in 2011-2013. In addition to these models, various operators in Kazakhstan use dozens of other Mi-8/17 helicopters including the Mi-8MT, Mi-8MTV and Mi-17V-5.