India Abroad

Russia Eyes To Close 48 Mi-17 Military Helicopter Deal By Year End

| July 30 , 2017 , 14:44 IST

Russia is eying to close a deal with India by the year end to supply 48 Russian Mi-17 military transport helicopters to the country, revealed a top Russian official.

Alexander Mikheev, CEO of Russian arms supplier Rosoboronexport said, " India knows their specifications well, Mr Mikheev said and added Russia and India are holding talks with a view to sign a contract for 48 (Mi-17V-5) helicopters and the techno-commercial negotiations are set to commence."

"We hope that we will reach an agreement before the end of this year," he added.

India already has over 300 helicopters belonging to the Mi-family, which are deployed in troop and arms transport, fire support, convoy escort, patrol, and search-and-rescue (SAR) missions, he said.

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Assessing the strength of Indian air force, the Russian supplier said, " Indian Air Force has some requirements for improvement of performance and operational characteristics, mainly with regard to avionics, electronic warfare systems, as well as updates of weapon systems by both Indian and Russian companies."

Mr Mikheev said Russia was already considering the capabilities of the Indian industry within the framework of the "Make in India" programme and noted that under it a well- known project was the joint venture for Kamov 226T helicopters.

Talking about dealings with India, Mikheev said, "We are discussing a programme for modernisation of SU-30 with our Indian partners. The aircraft park is quite large."

He also said, "I think that it's actually a big plus in our relations. We have agreed that the programme of after-sales services will be participated by Russian dedicated holding companies, in order to ensure the operation of previously supplied equipment throughout its lifecycle. It's 20, 30, 40 years -- whether it be a submarine, a helicopter, a tank, etc."

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Considered to be one of the world's most advanced military transport helicopters, the Mi-17V-5 is designed to have two sections for cargo, one inside the cabin and another on an external sling. The Mi-17V-5, supplied to India, are ranked among one of the most advanced helicopters of its type.