Thursday, February 12, 2009

Bangalore: Russia will deliver the first of 80 Mi-171 transport helicopters to India under a recent contract in 2010, an official from Russia's state arms exporter said on Wednesday.
The Mi-171 is an export version of the Mi-8 Hip helicopter. Currently in production at two factories in the Russian Volga area city of Kazan and the East Siberian city of Ulan-Ude, it features more powerful turboshaft engines and can transport up to 37 passengers.
Some sources estimate the new deal is worth around $662 million. India already has 150 Russian-made Mi-8 and Mi-17 medium-lift helicopters deployed in at least 12 squadrons.
The Indian Air Force used Mi-17 helicopters in a commando assault on the Nariman House Jewish center in November last year, which killed some of the 10 terrorists involved in a three-day bloody rampage in Mumbai. Russia started this year deliveries of Mi-171 helicopters to another customer, Iran, under a $45 million contract. They will be used by Iran's Red Crescent for rescue missions and the evacuation of people injured in natural disasters. Russia also hopes to win a tender to provide India with six Il-78MD-90 fuel tankers, the head of the United Aircraft Corporation said at an air show in the southern city of Bangalore. Aero India-2009 is one the largest aerospace shows in the Asia-Pacific region, hosting leading manufacturers, vendors and suppliers from 35 countries. The existing Russian-Indian military cooperation program through 2010 features up to 200 projects worth about $18 billion.
11/02/09 Russian News & Information Agency

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