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Defense Industry Daily July 30, 2009

4 Russian Mi-17 Helicopters to Afghan Army for $43.5M

The Afghan National Army Air Corps is procuring 4 Mi-17 variant helicopters and related tool kits from Defense Technology Inc. (DTI) in Huntsville, AL for $43.5 million. The Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, MD, manages the firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-09-C-0089).

DTI provides military hardware from the former Soviet Union to the U.S. Department of Defense and the defense ministries of other NATO Governments. The company will perform the work in Kabul, Afghanistan, and expects to complete it by September 2009. This contract was competitively procured via an electronic request for proposals, with 4 offers received. “Medium Mainstay: Mi-17s for Iraq” examines a controversy over sole-source orders of Mi-17 helicopters from ARINC; this procurement appears to have been run differently.

The Mi-17 is an upgraded version of the Russian Mi-8 helicopter…

The Mi-17 helicopter, developed at the Mil Design Bureau, is a medium weight, single rotor helicopter. The aircraft construction primarily incorporates the airframe of a Mi-8 with the power train of the Mi-24, which provides an increase in performance and gross weight over the basic Mi-8. The aircraft is configured with a five bladed main rotor system (70 feet diameter), and a wheeled landing gear, notes Globalsecurity.org.

The Mi-17 is a multirole helicopter that can be armed with rockets, missiles and guns. It is often used by air assault infantry forces to attack the point of penetration, reinforce units in contact or disrupt counterattacks. Additional missions include attack, direct air support, electronic warfare, airborne early warning, medevac, search and rescue, and minelaying.

The basic version of the Mi-17 is used for military, police and civilian purposes. The cockpit accommodates a crew of three. The cargo hold is 5.34 meters long, 2.32 meters wide and 1.8 meters high. There is a large sliding door forward on the portside, and a clamshell freight-loading door in the rear. The landing gear is a non-retractable tricycle type with twin-wheel nose unit. On each side of the fuselage there is a pylon for an external fuel tank.

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