Air Headquarters, New Delhi, has changed the venue for induction of Mi-17 V5 helicopters from 3 Base Repair Depot, Chandigarh, to Air Force station, Palam, at the last moment.
Earlier, they were to be inducted last week here as they are being assembled in Chandigarh.
But now these will be inducted in presence of defence minister AK Antony on February 17.
Air Officer Commanding, 3 BRD, Air Commodore Suresh Singh, will also be present at the meeting.
A contract for the procurement of 80 Mi 17-V5 helicopters along with spares and the associated equipment was signed between ministry of defence and M/s Rosoboronexport, Russia on December 5, 2008.
Right now, about 15-20 helicopters have been assembled and within 2-3 years all the 80 helicopters would be available for service in Air Force.
Mi-17 V5, an upgrade of Mi-17 in the medium -lift armed helicopter category, has a glass cockpit variant; the first of its kind to get inducted into the IAF. It has onboard weather radar, state of the art autopilot and is compatible with the latest Generation-III night vision goggles. With this, the helicopter can undertake all-weather, day and night operations in any kind of terrain. The helicopter is also equipped with a Bambi-Bucket that can be used for fire fighting.
It is also fitted with a powerful winch – a feature useful in the Disaster Relief Operations in restricted areas where landing is not possible.
It has a modified loading ramp for faster loading and off-loading; apart from the traditional rear clamshells.
The entire airframe has a high degree of ballistics tolerance and is crash-resistant. It also comes equipped with an emergency flotation system. Its internal cabin volume is sufficient for transporting fully-equipped infantry soldiers for specialised operations.