An IIPM Initiative
Monday, March 27, 2023

Mi 17 V5s - IAF's deadliest recruit


MAYANK SINGH | New Delhi, February 18, 2012 15:31
Tags : Mi 17 V5 | special operations | IAF | A K Anthony inducts new helicopters | Wing Commander A K Verma |

Defence Minister A K Anthony formally inducted India's latest gunship, the Mi 17 V5 into the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Friday, handing over the keys to the Commanding Officer of the Bhatinda Squadron Wing Commander A K Verma.

“The multi-purpose Mi-17 V 5 helicopters will add to the flexibility and operational muscle, as well as capabilities of the Indian Air Force” said Anthony in the induction ceremony. These are being inducted in the Medium Lift Gunship class of the IAF, as part of the modernisation drive of the armed forces.

Indeed, the new aircrafts will be a valuable addition to the IAF's arsenal. The Mi 17 is a multi-purpose helicopter, equally well suited for transportation, special operation manoeuvres, search and rescue missions as well as a gunship.

Powered with the more powerful twin Klimov TV3-117VM turboshaft engines that produce a shaft horse power of 2500, the gunship has a much enhanced carrying capacity. The chopper can seat up to 30 fully equipped soldiers for deployment in operations. With a glass dolphin nose cockpit, the helicopters are absolutely state of the art.

It has third generation avionics and night vision capabilities. This allows it to operate in a wide range weather and light conditions, making it a formidable all weather fighting machine. Also a more powerful engine and an additional fuel tank allow it extended range. The cargo bay has a loading ramp. This will provide rapid loading and unloading. It will do wonders to India's supply lines for frontier battle zones like the Siachen glacier.

The heat signature of the copters have been suppressed to make them better against heat seeking weaponry and better stealth activity. It has excellent situational awareness and an extra door on the side to facilitate special operation manoeuvres. Armed with gun pods and up to 500 kg rocket carrying capacity, they will be deadly in battle.

They are amazingly well suited for search and rescue missions. With much greater winch capacity, hailers and Bambi buckets with 4000 lts capacity, they will be highly useful for internal disaster management work.

India had ordered 80 of these machines in 2008, to be delivered by 2014. a further order of 12 of these for the Ministry of Home Affairs was also made, with six of those machines being earmarked for the BSF. The IAF plans to have 6 squadrons of Mi 17s in the country. The first three at Bhatinda (HU 155 Unit), Jammu (HU 154 Unit) and Baghdogra (HU 156 Unit) were inducted on Friday. The Bhatinda unit will be commanded by Wing Commander A K Verma.

On a related note, these aircrafts have been used extensively by the NATO forces in Afghanistan as well as the Chinese air force. The US Air Force is also reported to have ordered these copters for their special operation work.

Before wrapping up the event, Anthony said, “A word of caution – the induction of new, complex technological systems is not an easy task. All of you must strive to keep pace with the latest technological advancements and provide training from time to time.”

Rate this article:
Bad Good    
Current Rating 3.8
Post CommentsPost Comments

Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017