Mi-17, medium lift helicopters used by the Indian Air Force (IAF), are all set for upgradation at Chandigarh-based air force station, 3-Base Repair Depot (3-BRD).
As per the plans, Mi-17 would be retrofitted with smart displays, new cockpit, digital voice recorder, missile launch detection system, cables, breaks and other new avionics.
Confirming the development, Air Commodore Sanjeeva Sinha, Air Officer Commanding (AOC), 3-BRD, said that a contract for the upgradation has already been signed with an Israeli company and the work is expected to be started by March next year at Chandigarh.
He said that the 3-BRD has also collaborated with a Bangalore-based firm for supply of some material that would be used in upgradation of these Russian origin machines.
Talking about indigenization, Sinha stated that 3BRD Chandigarh is basically a repair depot for Russian aircrafts and helicopters and efforts are being made to use 80% indigenous spare parts during their overhauling.
“Once upgraded, it would strengthen IAF’s helicopter fleet for high-altitude air maintenance operations, huma nitarian assistance and disaster relief mission and other operations,” he added.