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All You Need To Know About The Mi-17V-5 Military Helicopter That Crashed With CDS Gen Rawat Onboard

The Mi-17V-5 is one of the world’s most advanced transport helicopters. It can also be deployed in troop and arms transport, fire support, convoy escort, patrol, and search-and-rescue (SAR) missions.

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As the news of Chief of defense staff, Gen. Bipin Rawat’s helicopter crash comes in we take a look at the helicopter in question - Mi-17

Mi-17 is an improved version of the Mi-8 with higher altitude and environmental performance. The Mi-8 helicopter is a multi-role medium transport helicopter designed and manufactured by Mil Moscow and Kazan Helicopter, a subsidiary of Russian Helicopters. The universality of the helicopter and the ability to fly high make the Mi-8 one of the most popular Russian-made helicopters in the world. More than 12,000 multipurpose Mi-8 helicopters have been produced, with more than 2,800 exported, and they operate with more than 50 air forces around the world.

The Mi-17V-5 is specifically designed to improve capabilities at high altitudes and in hot weather conditions. Designed to transport cargo inside the cabin and on an external sling, the Mi-17V-5 is one of the world’s most advanced transport helicopters. It can also be deployed in troop and arms transport, fire support, convoy escort, patrol, and search-and-rescue (SAR) missions.

The helicopter has a maximum takeoff weight of 13,000kg. It can transport either 36 armed soldiers internally or 4,500kg of load on a sling.

Indian Ministry of Defense had awarded a $1.3bn contract to Russian Helicopters for 80 helicopters in December 2008. ROSOBORONEXPORT the state organization in Russia for exporting military, dual-use products and services and technologies delivered the final batch of Mi-17V-5 military transport helicopters to India in July 2018. The Indian Air Force inaugurated a repair and overhaul facility for Mi-17V-5 helicopters in April 2019. Its estimated India has 139 units of Mi-17V-5 choppers at the moment.

The powerplant of the Mi-17V-5 integrates either a Klimov TV3-117VM or VK-2500 turbo-shaft engine. The TV3-117VM develops a maximum power of 2,100hp, whereas the VK-2500 provides a power output of 2,700hp. The VK-2500 is an upgraded version of the TV3-117VM engine family. It is equipped with a new full-authority digital control system (FADEC).

The Mi-17V-5 has a maximum speed of 250km/h, and a standard range of 580km, which can be extended to 1,065km when fitted with two auxiliary fuel tanks. It can fly at a maximum altitude of 6,000m.

The helicopter carries 1,870 L of fuel in two flexible internal tanks and two external tanks. The total fuel capacity can be increased to 3,700 l by installing up to two ferry tanks in the cabin.

A number of Mi-17s have been sent to Iran, ten for Malaysia, 20 for Columbia, 139 for India, 12 for Pakistan and 20 for Venezuela (deliveries began in February 2006). Russia announced in June 2010 that it was sending MI-17 helicopters to Afghanistan under a NATO contract as part of a US-managed tender to provide helicopters to the Afghan Army.


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Mi-17V-5 Choppers Gen Bipin Rawat