Russia and India likely to ink deal on 48 Russian Mi-17 military helicopters

Vastavam web:  Russia and India are holding negotiations for the supply of 48 Russian Mi-17 military transport helicopters, with Moscow hoping to seal the deal by the end of this year, a top Russian official has said.Russian arms supplier Rosoboronexport’s CEO Alexander Mikheev said India has more than 300 helicopters belonging to the Mi-8 and Mi-17 family, which are deployed in troop and arms transport, fire support, convoy escort, patrol, and search-and-rescue (SAR) missions. He said India knows their specifications well. Mikheev said Russia and India are holding talks with a view to sign a contract for 48 (Mi-17V-5) helicopters and the techno-commercial negotiations are set to commence in August.

Designed to transport cargo inside the cabin and on an external sling, the Mi-17V-5 is considered to be one of the world’s most advanced military transport helicopters.Mi-17V-5, supplied to India, ranks among the most technically advanced helicopters of the Mi-8/17 type, incorporating the best engineering solutions of previous generations.In 2008, Rosoboronexport signed a contract for the delivery of 80 Mi-17V-5 to India, which was completed in 2011 -2013. In 2012-2013, three additional contracts were signed to supply a total of 71 Mi-17V-5 helicopters to meet the needs of the Indian Air Force.

India had announced on October 15 last year a deal on the Triumf air defence systems from Russia, worth over USD five billion.”As of today, we are carrying out technical consultations with India. We have already shown our equipment – both in the field, testing, range-practice conditions and in conditions of production plant and design bureaus,” Mikheev said.”Rosoboronexport is performing all the works aimed at signing of the contract as soon as possible, based on the feedback from India,” he said.Talking about other projects that are under discussion between Russia and India, Mikheev said, “We are discussing a program for modernization of SU-30 with our Indian partners.

“Moreover, the Indian Air Force has some requirements for improvement of performance and operational characteristics, mainly with regard to avionics, electronic warfare systems, as well as updates of weapon systems by both Indian and Russian companies,” he said.Mikheev said Russia was already considering the capabilities of the Indian industry within the framework of the “Make in India” program and noted that under it a well- known project was the joint venture for Kamov 226T helicopters.Asked about the first Russian-Indian military-industrial conference in March where reports said some questions concerning the problem with spare parts was raised by India, Mikheev said the industrial conference was jointly held by Russia’s Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Valentinovich Manturov and Defence Minister Arun Jaitley during which both sides reached an agreement on the issue.

“We have specified six companies that will carry out direct cooperation with both operators of Russian equipment and Indian companies that will be charged with operating this equipment and manufacturing its spare parts,” he said.Mikheev named the six companies that will carry out direct cooperation as the United Shipbuilding Corporation, the United Aircraft Corporation, Russian Helicopters, the United Engine Corporation, Almaz-Antey and Tactical Missile Corporation

Mikheev also highlighted Rosoboronexport’s growing business, saying in 2016 it executed the plan of supplies for USD 13.08 billion.Rosoboronexport has cooperation with more than 100 countries and its contractual obligations are being fulfilled by 92 countries, he noted.