India and Russia is likely to finalise a contract for Mi-17 V-5 helicopters by March, a top Russian official said.
According to news agency IANS report, the contract for the 48 Mi-17 V5 medium lift helicopters, which was supposed to be signed last year is to be concluded by March and the price negotiations will start by August.
“We are holding negotiations with a view to sign a contract for 48 Mi-17 V5 helicopters. In July-August, we are starting price and contract negotiations within the framework of the applicable Indian procedure and we hope that we will reach agreement before the end of this year,” Aleksandr Mikheev, CEO of Rosoboronexport told IANS.
India has more than 300 helicopters that belong to the Mi-8 and Mi-17 family, he further said.
Indian military have often used these choppers for rescue missions or disaster relief ops. It is said that the chopper was used for the surgical strike across Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) to take out the terror launch pads across the border in September 2016. The highly advanced helicopter was also used by the Indian Army during Mumbai terror attack in 2008.
The Mi-17 V5 ranks as one of the most advanced military aircraft of the Mi-8 and Mi-17 clan and is based on Mi-8 airframe. These highly advanced helicopters have night vision technology, a new PKV-8 autopilot system, all-weather radar and a KNEI-8 avionics suite.
In 2008, Russia’s Rosoboronexport signed a deal with India to provide 80 Mi-17V
However, in 2012-13, three more contracts were signed to supply 71 Mi-17V-5 choppers to the Indian Air Force (IAF).
Mikheev also said that the negotiations were going on for the contract of S-400 Triumf long range air defence missile system which was signed during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to India last year.