AUTHOR: AKUL DEV SAHA
Zhukovsky: On Sunday, the Russian press was informed that Russia and India were going to finalize a military deal by the end of this year for the supply of 48 Russian Mi-17 military transport helicopters. The negotiations are set to commence in August.
On the sidelines of Russia’s premier air show MAKS 2017, Rosoboronexport’s CEO Alexander Mikheev announced the deal. Rosoboronexport is Russia’s primary state-owned arms trade company authorized to export a range of military and dual purpose products and services.
India has more than 300 helicopters belonging to the Mi-8 and Mi-17 family of helicopters. In India, these choppers are mainly deployed in troop and arms transport, fire support, patrol, and search-and-rescue missions.
Mi-17 V5 – the chopper for which the deal negotiations are about to begin – is considered to be one of the world’s most technically advanced military transport helicopters. It is designed in a way to transport cargo inside the cabin.
Under a previously signed contract with Rosoboronexport, the Indian Air Force (IAF) had received a total of 151 units of the Mi-17 V5 helicopters, the last batch of which was supplied last year.
When questioned about future deals with India, Mikheev said that talks of supplying S-400 Triumf anti-aircraft missile systems have been underway with IAF for almost a year. Also, the parties have been discussing a program for modernization of Sukhoi-30.
“During a period of 15 years, we have fulfilled all our obligations to the Indian party, the HAL Corporation — supplied quite a large aircraft park, over 200, under the license agreement — and we are offering new developments of our design bureaus,” he further added.
Moreover, Mikheev has been impressed with India’s ‘Make in India’ campaign, saying that an under the scheme a joint venture for Kamov 226T helicopters is already in the pipeline.