Russian Helicopters announced earlier this year that it had built the 3,500th export version of the Mi-17 at Kazan Helicopters, a number which makes it perhaps the most successful helicopter model of all time.
First introduced in 1977, the Russian-made Mi-17 helicopters has been sold to over 65 countries including the US, India, Afghanistan, Iraq and China among others.
In 2012-13, India ordered a further 71 helicopters, which are currently being built by Russian Helicopters to the agreed schedule.
After cancelling the VVIP-helicopter deal with AgustaWestland, India turned to Russian Helicopters to supply 12 Mi-17s in the VVIP transport configuration, the Rostec state corporation said in a press release in January.
The Mi-17V-5 helicopter was chosen by India’s Special Protection Group (of the 150 helicopters already delivered to India) for escorting the most important politicians in India during the elections earlier this year.
Russian Mi-17 helos have been a force multiplier for the Afghan military and police in their fight against the Taliban, a top US general has acknowledged.
"I think they (Mi-17) have been a force multiplier for the special operating forces and for the conventional forces, the army and the police, they have been mostly moving forces and providing resupply," US Army Gen. John F. Campbell said last month.
There are currently 84 Mi-17 helicopters being used by Afghan forces and an additional three more are expected, Campbell said.
Meanwhile, Russia and Nigeria have signed a contract in September for the supply of Mi-171Sh and Mi-35 helicopters.
Rosoboronexport deputy general director Sergei Goreslavsky, said, "The Mi-171Sh machine is in steady demand on the foreign market. A contract with Nigeria was recently signed.”
According to him, Mozambique is very much interested in the rotorcraft. Rosoboronexport’s top manager said several Mi-35M"s will be also sent to Nigeria, without specifying the number of machines under the contract, Ria Novosti reported.
Nepal awarded Rosoboronexport a contract to supply Mil Mi-17V-5 military transport helicopters to the Army earlier this year. The government had already allocated over $30 million for the procurement of new twin turbine transport helicopters early last year. Deliveries under the contract are scheduled this year.
The Mi-17 is a medium weight, single rotor helicopter. The construction primarily incorporates the airframe of a Mi-8 with the power train of the Mi-24, which provides an increase in performance and gross weight over the basic Mi-8. The aircraft is configured with a five bladed main rotor system (70 ft diameter), and a wheeled landing gear.
It is a multirole helicopter used as a supply craft or be very heavily armed with an extensive array or rockets, misslies and guns.
It is often used for air assault by infantry forces, reinforce units in contact or disrupt counterattacks. Additional missions include; attack, direct air support, electronic warfare, airborne early warning, medevac, search and rescue, and minelaying.
Despite several accidents, the Mi-17 is considered relatively safe as the number of accidents compared to the helicopters in service have been few. Among its most notable accidents is the crash of a Vietnam People's Air Force Mi-171 military helicopter on the outskirts of Hanoi while on a training mission for parachute recruits earlier this year. According to reports, among 21 men on board, 16 died, 5 others were severely injured.
Russian Mi-17 helos have been a force multiplier for the Afghan military and police in their fight against the Taliban, a top US general has acknowledged. The Mi-17 helicopter has been a "game changer" in the movement of Afghan soldier and supplies to far corners of the country, the US Army general in charge of American operations and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan was quoted by Ria Novosti as saying
Russia and Nigeria have signed a contract for the supply of Mi-171Sh and Mi-35 helicopters, Rosoboronexport deputy general director Sergei Goreslavsky announed Friday. "The Mi-171Sh machine is in steady demand on the foreign market
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
Rosoboronexport will present its Malaysian partners with current and prospective projects which includes Mi-171Sh military transport helicopter at DSA 2014, 14 to 17 April. Rosoboronexport specialists believe that the Malaysian side will be very much interested in the Buk-M2E medium-range air defence missile system, Pantsir-S1 close-range air defence gun/missile system, Kornet-E/Kornet-EM and Metis-M1 antitank missile systems, as well as Mirazh, Sobol and Mangust patrol boats
Russian Helicopters, a subsidiary of Oboronprom, part of State Corporation Rostec, will showcase new models including the Mi-171A2 and Ka-32A11BC at the 18th International Air and Space Fair (FIDAE 2014) on 25-30 March in the Chilean capital Santiago. “Latin America is a strategically important market for Rostec, and for Russian Helicopters in particular,” said Sergei Goreslavsky, head of Rostecs department for international cooperation
Russian Helicopters has replaced foreign-made components on Mi-8AMTSh-V helicopters as part of the modernisation work for delivery to the Russian Air Force. A key aspect of this modernisation work involves replacing the Ukrainian-made AI-9V auxiliary power units (APUs) with the Russian-made TA-14 produced at SPE Aerosila
India's Defense Ministry has approved use of Russian Mi-17-V5 helicopters to transport persons of special importance, including the president and prime minister, according to Itar-Tass. According to repoorts, the defence ministry has approved the "conversion" of six new Mi-17 V5s into VVIP helicopters to replace the old Mi-8 helicopters with IAF's elite Communication Squadron to ferry the President and PM within the country
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