Kerala Kaumudi Online
Tuesday, 05 July 2022 12.43 PM IST

Mi17V5, IAF's advanced military chopper; second crash of Russian made chopper in three years


NEW DELHI: The Mi17V5 helicopter, which crashed with Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Bipin Rawat and 13 other people onboard on Wednesday, is an advanced military transport chopper that has been with the Indian Air Force (IAF) since 2012.

Manufactured by Russian Helicopters’ subsidiary Kazan, the helicopter has an onboard weather radar and is equipped with the latest generation of night vision devices.

It also has the new PKV-8 autopilot system and a KNEI-8 avionics suite. It can carry a maximum take off weight of 13,000 kg and maximum payload weight of 4,000 kg.

India had in 2008 signed a deal with Russia to induct 80 Mi17V5 medium lift helicopters for strengthening its chopper fleet for humanitarian and disaster relief missions and transport operations.

The contract was later expanded for delivery of 151 Mi17V5 helicopters.

The first batch of these helicopters came to India in September 2011.

In February 2012, the IAF had formally Mi17V5 helicopters from Russia to enhance its operational capabilities including carrying troops and cargo to high altitude areas.

The helicopter is fitted with a self-defence system against heat seeker missiles, heavily-armoured cockpit, vital systems and components.

“The Mi-17V-5 military transport helicopter is designed to carry personnel, cargo and equipment inside the cargo cabin or on an external sling, drop tactical air assault forces and reconnaissance and sabotage groups, destroy ground targets and carry the wounded,” said Russian government’s defence exports company Rosoboronexport.

According to the company, this helicopter can achieve a maximum speed of 250 km per hour.

The helicopter is fitted with advanced TV3-117VM engines.

It is the most technically advanced helicopter of Mi-8/17 family of helicopters, and incorporates the best engineering solutions from previous generations of helicopters.

This is the second MI-17V-5 helicopter crash in three years. On February 27, 2019, a helicopter of the same category crashed at Budgam in Srinagar. The accident took place in Budgam on the same day that India launched a surgical strike on Pakistan following the Uri attack. The MI-17V-5 helicopter crashed at Budgam in Srinagar on February 27 after the Balakot airstrikes. The MI-17V-5 helicopter crashed in Badgam, about 10 minutes after takeoff from Srinagar. Six Air Force officers and a civilian were killed in the crash.

A missile was aimed at a helicopter flying from Srinagar airbase, believed to belong to Pakistan. It was initially suspected to be a technical fault of the helicopter, but it was later discovered that an Israeli-made Spyder missile belonging to the Air Force had caused the crash. The Air Force had taken action against the culprits in the incident.

(with PTI inputs)

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