• The latest Russian made Mi-17 V5 armed helicopters have been inducted in to the Indian Air Force. This will boost its operational capabilities including carrying troops and cargo to high altitude areas.
  • Marking the commissioning of the choppers in the Indian Air Force today Defence Minister A K Antony symbolically handed over its keys to the Commanding Officer of one of the units operating the machines.
  • Addressing the gathering of senior IAF officials, Antony said,the new Mi-17 helicopters will help in adding muscle to IAF's capabilities to carry out operations assigned to it.
  • India has placed orders for 80 such choppers from Russia and the first batch arrived in the country in the last week of September last year.The first three units of the helicopters will be raised at Bhatinda (Punjab), Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) and Bagdogra (West Bengal). 
  • Over 20 such flying machines have already arrived and are deployed at various locations in the northern sector.
  • The MI-17 V5 falls in armed helicopter category, with substantial and effective firepower. It has the latest and more powerful engines that will enhance its payload carrying capability at higher altitudes.It has on-board weather radar, state-of-the-art autopilot and is compatible with the latest generation night vision goggles.
  • The Mi-17 variants have operated in various types of terrain, including Siachen Glacier, and have also proven their mettle in UN missions.