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09:49 AM, July 20, 2015
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Indian Air Force Mi-17B V5 (Photo: Russian Helicopters)

The Indian Air Force plans to procure additional 48 Mi-17 military transport helicopters from Russia for $1.1 billion.

Earlier this month Russia offered to delvier up to 250 upgraded Mi-8 helicopters a year. IAF is eyeing to replace its aging Mi-8 fleet by 48 Mi-17 aircraft.

If the deal is initiated, The deal would involve 30 percent offset obligation. India and Russia were discussing purchase of additional Mi-17V5 helicopters, Sputnik reported last Friday.

“Our capabilities are widely known. We can deliver up to 250 of just the Mi-8 helicopters a year,” Andrey Shibitov, Deputy Head of Russian Helicopters design and manufacturing company said.

India’s fleet of Russian-made Mi-8s is in need of replacement.“We are prepared to offer the next upgraded version. I think this will interest the Indian side, so we hope to continue cooperating,” Shibitov said speaking during the sixth international industrial exhibition Innoprom-2015 in Yekaterinburg.

India currently has 300 Mi-8 and export designed Mi-17 in service with the Air Force. Russia has supplied about 121 Mi-17V-5 to Indian Air Force over the past five years. The new choppers will serve in terrains ranging from the desert to high-altitude locations along the China and Pakistan border.

“The Air Force recently moved the plan that includes maintenance facilities for the choppers as well as an offset obligation of 30%. The operationally proven choppers are much-needed replacements for the older Mi-8 transporters that have reached the end of their service life,” Economic Times news daily quoted unnamed sources as saying.

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