The Special Protection Group, which ensures the safety of the Indian Prime Minister, has selected Mi-17V-5 helicopters to transport particularly important people. 12 VIP-vehicles will be chosen from the 150 helicopters delivered to India today by the Kazan Helicopter Plant, which is a subsidiary of the holding company Russian Helicopters.
India’s current Mi-8/17 VIP helicopters, which were acquired during the Soviet era, will be decommissioned in February and converted to Mi-17V-5 models. The renovated helicopters should be ready by the beginning of the 2014 Indian parliament election campaign.
Eight helicopters were selected for transporting senior government officials, with an additional four reserved for the Special Protection Group. The helicopters feature missile-defense and evacuation systems. All of the aircraft will be part of the government’s communication squadron, which is part of the Indian Air Force’s central command at Palam Airbase.
India has been satisfied with the level of cooperation on the Mi-17 helicopters. Indian Air Force Commander Marshal Norman Anil Kumar Brauni stated that pilots were pleased with the Mi-17V-5, which has been part of the Indian Air Force’s fleet since 2012. General Director of the Kazan Helicopter Plant Vadim Ligai emphasized that Indian Mi-17V-5 is a “fairly complex helicopter, which was has been developed through a large amount of work.” For example, these helicopters have a “glass cockpit” navigational system, rather than traditional analog instruments.
Additionally, by the end of 2014, Radio-electronic Technologies (KRET), which is part of Rostec, will provide Russian Helicopters with 76 sets of high-tech avionics, including the KNEI-8 navigation and electronic systems, for the Mi-17V-5. Ryazan State Instrument Plant, which is part of KRET, developed the system.
Russian Helicopters is the only developer and manufacturer of helicopters in Russia. It is one a few companies in the world with the capacity to design, manufacture, testing, and provide maintenance for modern civil and military helicopters. Russian Helicopters was founded in 2007 and is a subsidiary of Oboronprom, which is part of the state company Rostec.