Russian Helicopters is looking to sign a new contract with India, through Russia’s official arms exporter Rosoboronexport, to supply 48 Russian Mi-17 V5 transport helicopters this year. Speaking to Russian news agency Tass at the recently concluded Singapore Air Show, Russian Helicopters’ Deputy CEO Alexander Shcherbinin said the company plans to reach agreements with India on the supply of a new batch of rotorcraft in 2016. He said the company had supplied three helicopters to India in 2015, under an earlier contract. Designed to transport cargo inside the cabin and on an external sling, the Mi-17 V5 is termed the most advanced helicopter. Earlier this month, the Indian Air Force (IAF) received the last batch of 151 Mi-17 V5 helicopters, marking the end of a procurement programme launched in 2008. The contract was with Rosoboronexport, a company of Rostec State Corporation. “Rosoboronexport had signed a contract in 2008 for the delivery of 80 Mi-17 V5 to India. This was completed in 2012-2013. The same year, three additional contracts were signed for the supply of a total of 71 Mi-17 V5, making it 151 choppers in all. The last one was delivered to the IAF on February 2,” said sources.
Sources indicated that India’s Defence Ministry has already approved the purchase of 48 additional helicopters in September 2015. “The deal is worth an estimated $1.1 billion. The procurement decision was taken during a Defence Acquisition Council meeting last September for the supply of 48 choppers to be used by the air force,” sources said. This Republic Day, an IAF tableau, themed ‘Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Operations by IAF’ had showcased models of the MI-17V5 aircraft, including the C-17 Globemaster and C-130 Hercules, among others, emphasising its use in the IAF’s rescue and relief operations in Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Yemen and Nepal. Russian Helicopters has been trying to gain market share in the Asia-Pacific region by boosting after-sales and support services with local partners, said sources, adding the company has increased industrial collaboration with partners in India, China, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Bangladesh.
Source : http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/