The Indian Air Force said last week that it would soon sign a contract with Russia to receive 80 Mi-17 Hip-H multi-role helicopters in a deal estimated at $1 billion. According to IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major details of the contract were close to finalisation.
A preliminary agreement to sell Mi-17 helicopters to India was reached in March 2007 at a meeting of the Russian-Indian intergovernmental commission on military cooperation.
The Mi-17 is a version of the Mi-8 airframe. The Mi-17 (Nato designation Hip H) is an improved version of the Mi-8, and is powered by two Klimov TV3-117MT turboshaft engines.
The helicopter has a takeoff weight of 13 metric tons and can carry up to 36 people or a payload of 4 metric tons within the cargo compartment, or 4.5 tons externally. The helicopters have been supplied to 80 countries.