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Indian Air Force to induct new generation copters

New Delhi, Feb 16, 2012, DHNS: 0:10 IST
The Indian Air Force is all set to induct a new generation of helicopters that can be used for launching special operations in the night besides enhancing IAF’s night-fighting capability.

The internal cabin volume is “sufficient for transporting fully equipped infantry soldiers for specialised operations,” said an IndianAir Force spokesperson.

Fully equipped commandos can be dropped for special operations, he indicated.

The gunship has substantial and effective firepower with the latest and more powerful engines that greatly enhance its payload carriage capability at higher altitudes.

Defence Minister A K Antony will induct the new generation Mi-17 V5 helicopters at a function here on Friday. India purchased 80 helicopters from Russia at a cost of $1.34 billion and a follow on order worth $1 billion for 59 such choppers is in the offing. The Union Home Ministry, too, wants to buy six such helicopters for its anti-naxal operations.

An upgrade of the Mi-17 in the medium-lift category, Mi-17 V5 has glass cockpit and is equipped with the state-of-the-art avionics and on-board navigation systems.
The Russian manufacturer has so far supplied 21 such helicopters and six more are expected by March-end. The follow on order will be inked only after the delivery of the first-lot.

The helicopter can undertake all-weather, day and night operations in any kind of terrain. Since the helicopter is fitted with a Bambi-Bucket, it can be also used for fire fighting. It also has a powerful winch — a feature useful in disaster relief operations in restricted areas where landing is not possible.

The entire airframe has a high degree of ballistics tolerance and is crash-resistant.
The helicopter comes equipped with an emergency flotation system and would be useful in undertaking complicated rescue missions.

Mi-17 V5 would enhance the IAF capabilities in undertaking varied roles to face the challenges thrown in by unforgiving weather, hostile environment and difficult terrain in India, said the Air Force spokesperson.

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